Newborn infants in critical conditions require a permanent intra-venous line to allow for the administration of fluids, parenteral nutrition and drugs. The use of central venous catheters, however, is associated with an increased risk of infections, leading to prolongation of length of stay and higher hospitalization costs, particularly in extremely preterm infants. Dwell time is a significant factor for complications, with a predicted risk of catheter related infections of about 4 per 1000 catheter-days.To reduce the incidence of complications, several requirements must be met, including adequate staff and resources to provide education, training, and quality improvement programs, within a culture of communication and teamwork.Rigorous reporting schedule on line care and the implementation of unique bundle elements, the use of health care failure mode and effect analysis, the judicious use of antibiotics through an antimicrobial stewardship strategy, the application of specific antifungal prophylaxis are among the most effective interventions, while the addition of heparin to parenteral solution, or the use of antibiotic plus heparin lock therapy are under evaluation. Nursing assistance plays a fundamental role in managing central venous lines and in reducing or preventing the incidence of infection, by the application of several complex professional strategies. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
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