Investigation of undisclosed conflicts in catheter paper uncovers flawed data, too

cov150hAn investigation into a paper that compared infection rates from different types of central lines started with an allegation about a failure to disclose a conflict of interest, and ended up concluding that the science in the paper was flawed.

The 2013 paper — now retracted by the American Journal of Infection Control — suggested a particular kind of connector between the catheter and the patient could reduce some of the notoriously deadly bloodstream infections associated with the procedure, according to a press release that publicized the work. But last year, the journal issued an expression of concern for the paper, noting there were questions about the data. The retraction note reveals an investigation at Georgia Regents University — now known as Augusta University — started looking into undisclosed conflicts of interest in the paper, and ultimately concluded the science was flawed.

Here’s the retraction note, published in the January 1st 2016 issue of the journal, for “Comparison of central line-associated bloodstream infection rates when changing to a zero fluid displacement intravenous needleless connector in acute care settings

This article has been retracted at the request of the Editor-in-Chief.

An investigation into an alleged failure to disclose COI was conducted by an interdisciplinary scientific review committee convened by senior leadership at Georgia Regents University (GRU). The committee reached the findings of a failure to properly disclose the relationship. During the course of that investigation, questions were raised about the methods and data presented in this article. The questions focused in particular on the consistency of the statistics over various study periods as well as the methods by which study sites were chosen. The investigation concluded that the science was flawed.

The paper has been cited once, according to Thomson Scientific’s Web of Knowledge.

We’ve reached out to first author Cynthia C. Chernecky and last author Thomas V. Joshua (both based at Augusta) for comment, and to the university for more information on the investigation. We’ll update this post with anything we learn.

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One thought on “Investigation of undisclosed conflicts in catheter paper uncovers flawed data, too”

  1. I wonder if the reach of this paper is much greater than its single citation implies. Company representatives use studies like this to great effect. I know our hospital changed over to this type of connector.

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