Entesari-Tatafi and colleagues are to be commended for their attempts to reduce the incidence of central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs).1 However, they fail to consider whether revisions to the Victorian Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance System (VICNISS) definition of CLABSI may have contributed to the apparent reduction in incidence that they observed after introduction of their care bundle. In 2008, VICNISS revised its definition of CLABSI to maintain consistency with the methods of the National Healthcare Safety Network in the United States, by deleting criterion 2b (the culture of a common skin contaminant from at least one blood culture from a patient with an intravascular line and appropriate antimicrobial therapy instituted by a physician). The main rationale for this revision was to reduce overreporting of coagulase-negative staphylococcal infections, and the overall effect was to lower reported infection rates.2 Because this change took place 2 years before the reduction in infection rates reported by Entesari-Tatafi and colleagues, it seems unlikely that it contributed to that phenomenon. However, as the authors indicate in Appendix 2, there was a further change in the VICNISS definition of CLABSI in October 2011, and they have not considered whether this might have contributed to the reduction in infection rates.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.