Central venous catheters (CVCs) facilitate venous access,  allowing the intravenous administration of complex drug treatments, blood products and nutritional support, without the trauma associated with repeated venipuncture. However, CVCs are associated with arisk of infection. Some studies have indicated that the type of dressing used with them may affect the risk of infection. Gauze and tape, transparent polyurethane film dressings such as Tegaderm® and Opsite®, and highly vapour-permeable transparent polyurethane film dressings such as Opsite IV3000®, are the most common types of dressing used to secure CVCs. Currently, it is not clear which type of dressing is the most appropriate.

 Key findings
?  We found a four-fold increase in the rate of catheter related blood stream infection when a polyurethane dressing was used to secure the central venous catheter
compared to gauze and tape.
?  Rates of catheter-related blood steam infections (between 0% and 6%) were similar to those reported in prior research irrespective of the type of product used.
?  There was no difference between the different types of polyurethane dressings for theprevention of catheter-related blood stream infection.