Infection control guidelines for the cardiac catheterization laboratory: Society guidelines revisited

Charles E. Chambers, Michael D. Eisenhauer, Lynn B. McNicol, Peter C. Block, William J. Phillips, Gregory J. Dehmer, Frederick A. Heupler, James C. Blankenship

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


In the early years of diagnostic cardiac catheterization, strict sterile precautions were required for cutdown procedures. Thirteen years ago, when the original guidelines were written, the brachial arteriotomy was still frequently utilized, femoral closure devices were uncommon, "implantables," such as intracoronary stents and PFO/ASD closure devices, were in their infancy, and percutaneous valve replacement was not a consideration. In 2005, the cardiac catheterization laboratory is a complex interventional suite with percutaneous access routine and device implantation standard. Despite frequent device implantation, strict sterile precautions are often not observed. Reasons for this include a decline in brachial artery cutdown, limited postprocedure follow-up with few reported infections, limited use of hats and masks in televised cases, and lack of current guidelines. Proper sterile technique has the potential to decrease the patient infection rate. Hand washing remains the most important procedure for preventing infections. Caps, masks, gowns, and gloves help to protect the patient by maintaining a sterile field. Protection of personnel may be accomplished by proper gowning, gloving, and eye wear, disposal of contaminated equipment, and prevention and care of puncture wounds and lacerations. With the potential for acquired disease from blood-borne pathogens, the need for protective measures is as essential in the cardiac catheterization laboratory as is the standard Universal Precautions, which are applied throughout the hospital. All personnel should strongly consider vaccination for hepatitis B. Maintenance of the cardiac catheterization laboratory environment includes appropriate cleaning, limitation of traffic, and adequate ventilation. In an SCAI survey, members recommended an update on guidelines for infection control in the cardiac catheterization laboratory. The following revision of the original 1992 guidelines is written specifically to address the increased utilization of the catheterization laboratory as an interventional suite with device implantation. In this update, infection protection is divided into sections on the patient, the laboratory personnel, and the laboratory environment. Additionally, specific CDC recommendation sections highlight recommendations from other published guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-86
Number of pages9
JournalCatheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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