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Undetected Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus in Surgical Intensive Care Unit Patients

  • Richard A. Zuckerman (a1), Lynn Steele (a1), Richard A. Venezia (a1) and Ellis H. Tobin (a1)


The rates of vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) in a high-risk population were investigated prospectively using an active surveillance method. The costs of conducting active surveillance were calculated. Among the 10 patients found to have VRE, routine cultures identified 3 (30%); thus, 70% of the VRE-colonized patients would have gone undetected in the absence of active surveillance. The total cost for 5 weeks of active surveillance was $2,234. Although active surveillance identified a high rate of VRE-colonized patients who otherwise may not have been identified, it remains to be determined if the additional costs are justified and result in reduced transmission.


Corresponding author

Division of Infectious Diseases, Albany Medical College, 47 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208


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