What did you do over winter break?

Kate Dwyer (L) & Christina Moehn (R) count colonies of bacteria for research study.

January 23, 2014

When you mention winter break at a university most people conjure images of going home and spending time with family and maybe even a sleigh ride.  No sleigh rides for five Bradley students who came in on their own time to participate in a collaborative research project with Professors Ted Fleming and Joe Degitz.  Fleming from biology and Degitz from nursing have teamed up to  study “Access Port Disinfection As a Method to Decrease Blood Stream Infections”. 

The purpose of this study is to better define practices utilized for accessing intravenous (IV) catheters by determining if a 15 second scrub of needless access ports is adequate to prevent microbes from entering the fluid path. Further analysis will assist in determining appropriateness of antiseptic solution. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) there are an estimated 41,000 central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) each year in hospitalized patients. Hospital acquired infections (HAI) increase costs of care in terms of dollars and mortality.  Needless injection ports on IV catheters, when improperly utilized, allow for organisms to enter the fluid path and enter the bloodstream. Colonization of needless injection ports through multiple manipulations has been identified as a possible cause of many CLABSI. Contamination of the injection port by contact with hands or contaminated fluids has been identified by the CDC as a route of infection contributing to CLABSI. There are no distinct descriptive guidelines for accessing needless access ports despite the potential for infection. The goal is to better define these practices.


Health science majors Taylor Schweigert, Hannah Huffman, & Caitlin Pribble along with nursing majors Christina Moehn & Kate Dwyer helped identify and count bacterial colonies growing on the test plates and recorded vital information needed to complete this study.  Participation in research helps keep Bradley students at the forefront of new technology and practices.


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