Medical errors may arise as a result of forgotten central venous catheters (CVC), according to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. The study reports that as many as one in five healthcare workers may not be able to recall whether their patients have central line. Not surprisingly, teaching physicians and hospitalists were more likely to be unaware of the CVC, compared with interns, residents, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants. This is concerning because a central catheter carries a risk of infection. If an unneeded central line is forgotten, and the patient acquires a blood-borne staph infection that results in injury or death, a claim for medical negligence may exist.
CVCs are a port of entry for Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis infections. One comment to the Annals of Internal Medicine noted that “