|Abstract Background Catheter-related blood stream infection (CRBSI) is one of the most common intractable healthcare-associated infections because catheters can be easily contaminated by resistant bacteria, and is associated with a high mortality. Central lines are currently used for administering medication to patients with severe stroke, and may thus cause CRBSI. Case presentation A 71-year-old woman with cirrhosis presented with subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) that was treated by clipping surgery. On postoperative day (POD) 38, sudden high fever (40.3 °C) was detected; the patient died a few hours later. Blood and central line cultures were positive for Klebsiella pneumoniae that may have caused CRBSI and endotoxin shock. In this case, the duration from fever detection to death was notably short. Additionally, inflammatory markers such as white blood cells (WBC) or C-reactive protein (CRP) were almost within normal ranges, even a few hours after fever was detected and before death. Cirrhosis was considered to be the cause of these phenomena. Conclusion The timely diagnosis and complete treatment of patients with liver cirrhosis who develop CRBSI are highly challenging. We suggest that clinicians should rigorously apply preventive measures and strengthen CRBSI monitoring, especially in cirrhosis-associated cases.