Consumer Reports Blood Infections and Patient Safety

At Children’s, we take central line infections seriously and have a goal to reduce central line associated blood stream infection rates to zero. By following national best practices and standardizing


At Children’s, we take central line infections seriously and have a goal to reduce central line-associated blood stream infection (BSI) rates to zero. By following national best practices and standardizing the steps we take to prevent infections, we’ve reduced the rate of hospital acquired BSIs from 4.7 per 1,000 line days in 2006 to 3.3 per 1,000 line days in 2009.

While we applaud Consumer Reports for developing a system for health care consumers to compare hospitals, readers should be aware that the rates are not adjusted for severity of illness and there is variance in the methods of collection and how aggressively hospitals identify infections.

For example, we have a high level of complex, bone marrow transplant patients who have multiple risk factors including low white blood cell counts. In the last ten years, we have had an 80percentreduction in BSIs for bone marrow transplant patients. In addition, we have also reduced our BSI rate in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) by 50 percent over the last three years. Pediatric ICUs have traditionally had higher BSI rates than adult ICUs.

We use evidenced-based protocols for the insertion and maintenance of central lines, and we continually monitor the lines to determine when they can be removed. When there is a blood stream infection, we conduct an investigative review with the patient, parents and medical providers to identify how to prevent this in the future. We have been tracking and using evidence-based improvement methodologies for years to improve our care.

Patient safety is at the core of our mission at Seattle Children’s Hospital and we continually strive to improve on all aspects of patient care. We have well-developed policies and procedures in place for immediate response to medical errors, disclosure of errors to patients and families, and clear systems for internal and external reporting of errors.

About Seattle Children’s

Seattle Children’s Hospital, Foundation and Research Institute together deliver superior patient care, advance new discoveries and treatments through pediatric research, and raise funds to create better futures for patients. Consistently ranked as one of the top 10 children’s hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report, Seattle Children’s Hospital specializes in meeting the unique physical, emotional and developmental needs of children from infancy through young adulthood. Through the collaboration of physicians in nearly 60 pediatric subspecialties, Seattle Children’s Hospital provides inpatient, outpatient, diagnostic, surgical, rehabilitative, behavioral, and emergency and outreach services to families from around the world.

Located in downtown Seattle’s biotech corridor, Seattle Children’s Research Institute is pushing the boundaries of medical research to find cures for pediatric diseases and improve outcomes for children all over the world. Internationally recognized investigators and staff at the research institute are advancing new discoveries in cancer, genetics, immunology, pathology, infectious disease, injury prevention, bioethics and much more.

Seattle Children’s Hospital and Research Foundation and Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association work together to gather community support and raise funds for uncompensated care, clinical care and research. The foundation receives nearly 80,000 gifts each year, from lemonade stand proceeds to corporate sponsorships. Seattle Children’s Hospital Guild Association is the largest all-volunteer fundraising network for any hospital in the country, serving as the umbrella organization for 450 groups of people who turn an activity they love into a fundraiser. Support from the foundation and guild association makes it possible for Seattle Children’s care and research teams to improve the health and well-being of all kids.

For more information, visit seattlechildrens.org or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.