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Interventional Radiology
July 17th, 2019

Preventing CLABSIs: The importance of training


According to the CDC’s Guidelines for the Prevention of Intravascular Catheter-Related Infections, 2011, an important part of preventing central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and hospital-acquired infections is to “educate healthcare personnel regarding the indications for intravascular catheter use, proper procedures for the insertion and maintenance of intravascular catheters, and appropriate infection control measures to prevent intravascular catheter-related infections.”[1]

The Cook Medical Clinical Specialist team has a combined 127 years of clinical experience working with vascular access devices.

“The most important part of a training program is establishing the needs of the hospital’s team,” says Cook Clinical Specialist Linda Burns. “We like to meet with the facility and customize a program that meets its particular challenges.”

As Cook Clinical Specialist Diana Melton explains, the training is comprehensive, covering anatomy and physiology, the types of therapies that require a PICC or central venous catheter (CVC), various kinds of vascular access devices, how to select an appropriate insertion site, insertion techniques, and the use of ultrasound. The training also focuses on general care and maintenance of the catheter, possible complications, and treatment plans.

This type of training is important for CLABSI prevention, says Cook Clinical Specialist Jarred Olson, because it helps emphasize and reinforce sterile and safe techniques for catheter insertion and maintenance. “Using maximal sterile barrier precautions and tools such as Cook Spectrum® antimicrobial catheters helps lower the risk for catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs)[2],” he says, “but you also have to know how to properly insert and maintain the catheter, which is why ongoing training is so important.”

For Cook Clinical Specialist Jon Jacobs, training provides clinicians with an opportunity to maintain and improve their skills. “A central part of the training we offer is a thorough evaluation of the trainees’ insertion and maintenance process, and we provide instruction for how to improve in every phase,” he says. “It’s often the little things that add up to make a big difference in lowering the risk for CLABSIs.”

Cook Spectrum catheters meet the CDC’s 1A recommendation as a component of the prevention of CLABSIs.[1]

To learn more about Cook Medical’s Clinical Specialist team and to discuss your training needs, email us at

[1] O’Grady N, Alexander M, Burns L, et al. Guidelines for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections, 2011. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site. Updated October 2017. Accessed March 22, 2019. The 1A recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for the prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections, 2011, is to “use a chlorhexidine/silver sulfadiazine or minocycline/rifampin-impregnated CVC in patients whose catheter is expected to remain in place >5 days if, after successful implementation of a comprehensive strategy to reduce rates of CLABSI, the CLABSI rate is not decreasing.”
[2] Raad I, Darouiche R, Dupuis J, et al. Central venous catheters coated with minocycline and rifampin for the prevention of catheter-related colonization and bloodstream infections: a randomized, double-blind trial. Ann Intern Med. 1997;127(4):267-274