Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Outbreak of bacterial phlebitis related to peripheral intravenous catheters at a general hospital in Brazil


Device related infections are prevalent all over the world. Peripheral intravenous catheters are the most used intravascular devices and the less associated with infections.


To describe the investigation and control measures of an outbreak of bacterial phlebitis at a general hospital in São Paulo, Brazil.


Bacterial phlebitis was defined according to the Centers for Disease Control criteria. Each patient’s data were collected from their medical files. After tabulation of the data, we could find common factors and propose control measures.


From January to June, 2013, 11 cases of bacterial phlebitis related to peripheral Intravenous catheters were reported. We could not find only one factor associated. Most of the cases occurred after 2 days of the punction (42%), and 72% of them were performed at the emergency department. We noticed that 37% of these catheters were manipulated in the ICU and 48% of the punctures were localized at the antecubital fossa. Of these cases, only one patient cursed with bloodstream infection, and this was due to Staphylococcus aureus methicillin sensible. We performed observational auditing of insertion and manipulation of these catheters, and we could notice that the most frequent process problems were hand hygiene and hub disinfection. There was no change in the kind of material used in the hospital. Based on these findings, we proposed several measures for infection control, including a hand hygiene campaign, discussion of every case with the multiprofessional team, a global training of 100% of the health care team regarding punction and manipulation of the catheters, reinforcement of daily evaluation of the need of maintaining the catheter and priorization of more distal punction. The outbreak was controlled in august, 2013.


Active infection control programs, including infection surveillance and implementation of prevention measures are important for all types of intravascular devices, including peripheral Intravenous catheters, in order to improve patient safety.

Disclosure of interest

None declared.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Open Access  This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.

To view a copy of this licence, visit

The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Quental, B., Saad, R., Duarte, L. et al. Outbreak of bacterial phlebitis related to peripheral intravenous catheters at a general hospital in Brazil. Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 4 (Suppl 1), P215 (2015).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: