Stop Blood Stream Infections

Blood stream infection

Preventing Bloodstream Infections

Many long hospital stays avoided. Over a million dollars saved. Countless lives saved. That’s the lasting impact of the South Carolina Stop Blood Stream Infections campaign.

Each year approximately 80,000 US patients will get an infection from a central line. Up to 31,000 of them will die from that infection. 

A central line is a long tube inserted into a patient’s vein to give them fluids and medications. Infections can happen if the tube was not cleaned for a long enough time or was not placed in a specific way.

For decades, these infections were thought to be an unfortunate but unavoidable part of health care. But in our state, providers knew they could do better.

In 2009, 47 units in 21 South Carolina hospitals joined with national health care leader Johns Hopkins University to prevent these potentially deadly infections. Hospitals examined their own past cases. They received proven clinical education, tools, resources, and just as importantly – support from each other as they worked toward a common purpose. 

Today, South Carolina hospitals report a blood stream infection rate 43% lower than the national average. And 35 of our hospitals have maintained a rate of zero blood stream infections for up to 18 straight months.

RESULTS: 69% relative improvement rate in central line-associated blood stream infections over a two-year period, greatly surpassing the national improvement rate of 40%

COST SAVINGS: $1.3 Million

PARTNERS: 21 member hospitals, John Hopkins University School of Medicine

The Duke Endowment Logo

This work is made possible by the generosity of The Duke Endowment. South Carolina’s hospitals are grateful for the vision of James B. Duke, who established The Duke Endowment in December of 1924. For more information on the legacy of Mr. Duke and the work of The Duke Endowment, visit