Invasive procedures are a major risk factor in nosocomial infection. Techniques require continual audit and reassessment to ensure that the chance of infection is not increased by inappropriate procedures or lack of appreciation of the risk. Particular areas of concern include intravenous and intra-arterial catheters, urinary catheters, chest and abdominal drains, hemofiltration, and dialysis. Because of their frequency of use, these techniques may lead to a laxity in basic hygiene. Where possible, the number of in-line taps should be kept to a minimum by rationalizing fluids and additives, and using welded connections with external closures. Closed drainage systems should be used.
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