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The role of severe respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)–laden aerosols in the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) remains uncertain. Discordant findings of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in air samples were noted in early reports.
Sampling of air close to 6 asymptomatic and symptomatic COVID-19 patients with and without surgical masks was performed with sampling devices using sterile gelatin filters. Frequently touched environmental surfaces near 21 patients were swabbed before daily environmental disinfection. The correlation between the viral loads of patients’ clinical samples and environmental samples was analyzed.
All air samples were negative for SARS-CoV-2 RNA in the 6 patients singly isolated inside airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIRs) with 12 air changes per hour. Of 377 environmental samples near 21 patients, 19 (5.0%) were positive by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay, with a median viral load of 9.2 × 102 copies/mL (range, 1.1 × 102 to 9.4 × 104 copies/mL). The contamination rate was highest on patients’ mobile phones (6 of 77, 7.8%), followed by bed rails (4 of 74, 5.4%) and toilet door handles (4 of 76, 5.3%). We detected a significant correlation between viral load ranges in clinical samples and positivity rate of environmental samples (P < .001).
SARS-CoV-2 RNA was not detectable by air samplers, which suggests that the airborne route is not the predominant mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Wearing a surgical mask, appropriate hand hygiene, and thorough environmental disinfection are sufficient infection control measures for COVID-19 patients isolated singly in AIIRs. However, this conclusion may not apply during aerosol-generating procedures or in cohort wards with large numbers of COVID-19 patients.
Peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs) are a mainstay of nonpermanent vascular access devices. In this study, we assessed patients displaying anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reactions to the PowerPICC SOLO and Groshong PICC (Bard Access Systems) using the Sherlock tip locating system (TLS).
Patients from 2 tertiary-care hospitals were systematically monitored over 4 years for adverse events following the insertion of a PICC using the Sherlock TLS. Insertion data were also collected using the BioFlo PICC (Angiodynamics)from a third hospital site and from The Ottawa Hospital over 4 years as an additional comparator. Three definitions of anaphylaxis and anaphylactoid reactions were utilized, and the Cohen κ was used to assess interrater agreement. Analysis of reactions among the patient cohorts was performed using the χ2 test with Yates correction or the Fisher exact test as appropriate.
Among 8,257 insertions using the TLS PICCs, 37 potential reactions (0.45%) were recorded. Using specific definitions for anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reactions, 54.1%–91.9% met criteria. Comparator populations using data from Calgary (n = 491) and Ottawa (n = 7,889) using the BioFlo PICC insertion found no reactions. Anaphylactic or anaphylactoid reactions were significantly associated with the PowerPICC SOLO and Groshong PICC with the TLS compared to the BioFlo PICC (P < .0001) across all definitions. The largest subset of patients experiencing adverse reactions had cystic fibrosis (CF) (n = 4, 10.8%).
Our study results demonstrate significant adverse events associated with the PowerPICC SOLO and Groshong PICC using the Sherlock TLS inserted across a range of patient populations. The incidence rate of anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reactions in the CF population at our center is significantly higher than in non-CF patients (P < .001).
We compared the effectiveness of antibiotic postprescription review and authorization (PPRA) determined by infectious disease (ID) clinical fellows with that of trained general pharmacists.
We conducted a noninferiority cluster-randomized controlled trial in 6 general medical wards at Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand. Three wards were randomly assigned to the intervention (ie, the pharmacist PPRA group), and another 3 wards were assigned to the control (ie, the fellow PPRA group). We enrolled all patients in the study wards who received 1 or more doses of the targeted antibiotics: piperacillin/tazobactam, imipenem/cilastatin, and meropenem. The noninferiority margin was 10% for the favorable clinical response and 1.5 defined daily doses (DDDs) for the targeted antibiotics.
We enrolled 303 patients in the pharmacist PPRA group and 307 patients in the ID fellow PPRA group. The baseline and clinical characteristics were similar in the 2 groups. The difference in the favorable response of patients who received the targeted antibiotics (ie, the pharmacist PPRA group minus the fellow PPRA group) was 5.15% (95% confidence interval [CI], –2.69% to 12.98%); the difference in the DDD of targeted antibiotic use (ie, the pharmacist PPRA group minus the fellow PPRA group) was 0.62 (95% CI, –1.57 to 2.82). We observed no significant difference in the DDD of overall antibiotics, 28-day mortality, 28-day ID-related mortality, favorable microbiological outcome, or antibiotic-associated complications.
We confirmed the noninferiority of pharmacist PPRA in terms of favorable clinical response; however, noninferiority in targeted antibiotic consumption could not be established. Therefore, using trained general pharmacists rather than ID clinical fellows could be an alternative in a resource-limited setting.
To evaluate the efficacy of copper-coating in reducing environmental colonization in an intensive-care unit (ICU) with multidrug-resistant-organism (MDRO) endemicity
Interventional, comparative crossover trial
The general ICU of Attikon University hospital in Athens, Greece
Those admitted to ICU compartments A and B during the study period
Before any intervention (phase 1), the optimum sampling method using 2 nylon swabs was validated. In phase 2, 6 copper-coated beds (ie, with coated upper, lower, and side rails) and accessories (ie, coated side table, intravenous [i.v.] pole stands, side-cart handles, and manual antiseptic dispenser cover) were introduced as follows: During phase 2a (September 2011 to February 2012), coated items were placed next to noncoated ones (controls) in both compartments A and B; during phase 2b (May 2012 to January 2013), all copper-coated items were placed in compartment A, and all noncoated ones (controls) in compartment B. Patients were randomly assigned to available beds. Environmental samples were cultured quantitatively for clinically important bacteria. Clinical and demographic data were collected from medical records.
Copper coating significantly reduced the percentage of colonized surfaces (55.6% vs 72.5%; P<.0001), the percentage of surfaces colonized by MDR gram-negative bacteria (13.8% vs 22.7%; P=.003) or by enterococci (4% vs 17%; P=.014), the total bioburden (2,858 vs 7,631 cfu/100 cm2; P=.008), and the bioburden of gram-negative isolates, specifically (261 vs 1,266 cfu/100 cm2; P=.049). This effect was more pronounced when the ratio of coated surfaces around the patient was increased (phase 2b).
Copper-coated items in an ICU setting with endemic high antimicrobial resistance reduced environmental colonization by MDROs.
To evaluate the influence of performance of active surveillance cultures for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on the incidence of nosocomial MRSA bacteremia in an endemic hospital.
A 700-bed hospital.
All patients admitted to the hospital who were at high risk for MRSA bacteremia.
Performance of surveillance cultures for detection of MRSA were recommended for all patients at high risk, and contact isolation was implemented for patients with positive results of culture. Each MRSA-positive patient received one course of eradication treatment. We compared the total number of surveillance cultures, the percentage of surveillance cultures with positive results, and the number of MRSA bacteremia cases before the intervention (from January 2002 through February 2003) after the start of the intervention (from July 2003 through October 2004).
The number of surveillance cultures performed increased from a mean of 272.57 cultures/month before the intervention to 865.83 cultures/month after the intervention. The percentage of surveillance cultures with positive results increased from 3.13% before to 5.22% after the intervention (P<.001). The mean number of MRSA bacteremia cases per month decreased from 3.6 cases before the intervention to 1.8 cases after the intervention (P< 0.001).
Active surveillance culture is important for identifying hidden reservoirs of MRSA. Contact isolation can prevent new colonization and infection and lead to a significant reduction of morbidity and healthcare costs.
Despite implementation of recommended best practices, our central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates remained high. Our objective was to describe the impact of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing on CLABSI rates in neonates.
Infants with a central venous catheter (CVC) admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit from April 2009 to March 2013 were included. Neonates with a birth weight of 1,000 g or less, aged less than 28 days, and those with a birth weight greater than 1,000 g were bathed with mild soap until March 31, 2012 (baseline), and with a 2% CHG-impregnated cloth starting on April 1, 2012 (intervention). Infants with a birth weight of 1,000 g or less, aged 28 days or more, were bathed with mild soap during the entire period. Neonatal intensive care unit nurses reported adverse events. Adjusted incidence rate ratios (aIRRs), using Poisson regression, were calculated to compare CLABSIs/1,000 CVC-days during the baseline and intervention periods.
Overall, 790 neonates with CVCs were included in the study. CLABSI rates decreased during the intervention period for CHG-bathed neonates (6.00 vs 1.92/1,000 CVC-days; aIRR, 0.33 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.15-0.73]) but remained unchanged for neonates with a birth rate of 1,000 g or less and aged less than 28 days who were not eligible for CHG bathing (8.57 vs 8.62/1,000 CVC-days; aIRR, 0.86 [95% CI, 0.17-4.44]). Overall, 195 infants with a birth weight greater than 1,000 g and 24 infants with a birth weight of 1,000 g or less, aged 28 days or more, were bathed with CHG. There was no reported adverse event.
We observed a decrease in CLABSI rates in CHG-bathed neonates in the absence of observed adverse events. CHG bathing should be considered if CLABSI rates remain high, despite the implementation of other recommended measures.
To evaluate the microbiologic effectiveness of the World Health Organization’s 6-step and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 3-step hand hygiene techniques using alcohol-based handrub.
A parallel group randomized controlled trial.
An acute care inner-city teaching hospital (Glasgow).
Doctors (n=42) and nurses (n=78) undertaking direct patient care.
Random 1:1 allocation of the 6-step (n=60) or the 3-step (n=60) technique.
The 6-step technique was microbiologically more effective at reducing the median log10 bacterial count. The 6-step technique reduced the count from 3.28 CFU/mL (95% CI, 3.11–3.38 CFU/mL) to 2.58 CFU/mL (2.08–2.93 CFU/mL), whereas the 3-step reduced it from 3.08 CFU/mL (2.977–3.27 CFU/mL) to 2.88 CFU/mL (−2.58 to 3.15 CFU/mL) (P=.02). However, the 6-step technique did not increase the total hand coverage area (98.8% vs 99.0%, P=.15) and required 15% (95% CI, 6%-24%) more time (42.50 seconds vs 35.0 seconds, P=.002). Total hand coverage was not related to the reduction in bacterial count.
Two techniques for hand hygiene using alcohol-based handrub are promoted in international guidance, the 6-step by the World Health Organization and 3-step by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study provides the first evidence in a randomized controlled trial that the 6-step technique is superior, thus these international guidance documents should consider this evidence, as should healthcare organizations using the 3-step technique in practice.
The risk of carrying methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is higher among nursing home (NH) residents than in the general population. However, control strategies are not clearly defined in this setting. In this study, we compared the impact of standard precautions either alone (control) or combined with screening of residents and decolonization of carriers (intervention) to control MRSA in NHs.
Cluster randomized controlled trial
NHs of the state of Vaud, Switzerland
Of 157 total NHs in Vaud, 104 (67%) participated in the study.
Standard precautions were enforced in all participating NHs, and residents underwent MRSA screening at baseline and 12 months thereafter. All carriers identified in intervention NHs, either at study entry or among newly admitted residents, underwent topical decolonization combined with environmental disinfection, except in cases of MRSA infection, MRSA bacteriuria, or deep skin ulcers.
NHs were randomly allocated to a control group (51 NHs, 2,412 residents) or an intervention group (53 NHs, 2,338 residents). Characteristics of NHs and residents were similar in both groups. The mean screening rates were 86% (range, 27%–100%) in control NHs and 87% (20%–100%) in intervention NHs. Prevalence of MRSA carriage averaged 8.9% in both control NHs (range, 0%–43%) and intervention NHs (range, 0%–38%) at baseline, and this rate significantly declined to 6.6% in control NHs and to 5.8% in intervention NHs after 12 months. However, the decline did not differ between groups (P=.66).
Universal screening followed by decolonization of carriers did not significantly reduce the prevalence of the MRSA carriage rate at 1 year compared with standard precautions.
To examine the effect of heterogeneous case mix for a benchmarking analysis and interhospital comparison of the prevalence rates of nosocomial infection.
Eleven hospitals located in Cyprus and in the region of Crete in Greece.
The survey included all inpatients in the medical, surgical, pediatric, and gynecology-obstetrics wards, as well as those in intensive care units. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria were used to define nosocomial infection. The information collected for all patients included demographic characteristics, primary admission diagnosis, Karnofsky functional status index, Charlson comorbidity index, McCabe- Jackson severity of illness classification, use of antibiotics, and prior exposures to medical and surgical risk factors. Outcome data were also recorded for all patients. Case mix-adjusted rates were calculated by using a multivariate logistic regression model for nosocomial infection risk and an indirect standardization method.
The overall prevalence rate of nosocomial infection was 7.0% (95% confidence interval, 5.9%–8.3%) among 1,832 screened patients. Significant variation in nosocomial infection rates was observed across hospitals (range, 2.2%–9.6%). Logistic regression analysis indicated that the mean predicted risk of nosocomial infection across hospitals ranged from 3.7% to 10.3%, suggesting considerable variation in patient risk. Case mix-adjusted rates ranged from 2.6% to 12.4%, and the relative ranking of hospitals was affected by case-mix adjustment in 8 cases (72.8%). Nosocomial infection was significantly and independently associated with mortality (adjusted odds ratio, 3.6 [95% confidence interval, 2.1–6.1]).
The first attempt to rank the risk of nosocomial infection in these regions demonstrated the importance of accounting for heterogeneous case mix before attempting interhospital comparisons.
To investigate the effectiveness of a multifaceted hand hygiene program involving the use of pocket-sized containers of antiseptic gel in long-term care facilities (LTCFs) with elderly residents.
In this clustered randomized controlled trial, Hong Kong LTCFs for elderly persons were recruited via snowball sampling. Staff hand hygiene adherence was directly observed, and residents' infections necessitating hospitalization were recorded. After a 3-month preintervention period, LTCFs were randomized to receive pocket-sized containers of alcohol-based gel, reminder materials, and education for all HCWs (treatment group) or to receive basic life support education and workshops for all healthcare workers (HCWs) (control group). A 2-week intervention period (April 1-15, 2007) was followed by 7 months of postintervention observations.
In the 3 treatment LTCFs, adherence to hand rubbing increased from 5 (1.5%) of 333 to 233 (15.9%) of 1,465 hand hygiene opportunities (P = .001) and total hand hygiene adherence increased from 86 (25.8%) of 333 to 488 (33.3%) of 1,465 opportunities (P = .01) after intervention; the 3 control LTCFs showed no significant change. In the treatment group, the incidence of serious infections decreased from 31 cases in 21,862 resident-days (1.42 cases per 1,000 resident-days) to 33 cases in 50,441 resident-days (0.65 cases per 1,000 resident-days) (P = .002), whereas in the control group, it increased from 16 cases in 32,726 resident-days (0.49 cases per 1,000 resident-days) to 85 cases in 81,177 resident-days (1.05 cases per 1,000 resident-days) (P = .004). In the treatment group, the incidence of pneumonia decreased from 0.91 to 0.28 cases per 1,000 resident-days (P = .001) and the death rate due to infection decreased from 0.37 to 0.10 deaths per 1,000 resident-days (P = .01); the control group revealed no significant change.
A hand hygiene program involving the use of pocket-sized containers of antiseptic gel and education could effectively increase adherence to hand rubbing and reduce the incidence of serious infections in LTCFs with elderly residents.
To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the International Nosocomial Infection Control Consortium (INICC) multi-dimensional hand hygiene approach in 19 limited-resource countries and to analyze predictors of poor hand hygiene compliance.
An observational, prospective, cohort, interventional, before-and-after study from April 1999 through December 2011. The study was divided into 2 periods: a 3-month baseline period and a 7-year follow-up period.
Ninety-nine intensive care unit (ICU) members of the INICC in Argentina, Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Greece, India, Lebanon, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, and Turkey.
Healthcare workers at 99 ICU members of the INICC.
A multidimensional hand hygiene approach was used, including (1) administrative support, (2) supplies availability, (3) education and training, (4) reminders in the workplace, (5) process surveillance, and (6) performance feedback. Observations were made for hand hygiene compliance in each ICU, during randomly selected 30-minute periods.
A total of 149,727 opportunities for hand hygiene were observed. Overall hand hygiene compliance increased from 48.3% to 71.4% (P < .01). Univariate analysis indicated that several variables were significantly associated with poor hand hygiene compliance, including males versus females (63% vs 70%; P<.001), physicians versus nurses (62% vs 72%; P<.001), and adult versus neonatal ICUs (67% vs 81%; P<.001), among others.
Adherence to hand hygiene increased by 48% with the INICC approach. Specific programs directed to improve hand hygiene for variables found to be predictors of poor hand hygiene compliance should be implemented.
Infection-control interventions are needed to minimize transmission of influenza-like illness (ILI) and other infections in settings where children are in close proximity.
A 240-children Thai kindergarten.
Three-year, quasi-experimental study was conducted to assess the association between the use of a bundle of 4 infection control interventions and the incidence of ILI, diarrheal illnesses, and hand-foot-mouth infections among preschool children. The numbers of incident infections were calculated for the preintervention year (period 1), the immediate postintervention year (period 2), and the sustained postintervention year (period 3).
The monthly incidence of ILI in period 1 (mean, 124 episodes per month) was 25.8 cases per 1,000 child-days; in period 2, it was 10.1 cases per 1,000 child-days (a reduction of 60.8%; P = .008); and in period 3, it was 8.2 cases per 1,000 child-days (a further reduction of 19%; P = .002). The monthly incidence of diarrheal illnesses in period 1 was 14 cases per 1,000 child-days; in period 2, it was 4 cases per 1,000 child-days (P = .01); and in period 3, it was 3 cases per 1,000 child-days (P = .007). The yearly incidence of hand-foot-mouth infection in period 1 was 10 cases per 1,000 child-days; in period 2, it was 1 case per 1,000 child-days (P = .01); and in period 3, it was 0.5 cases per 1,000 child-days per year (P = .007).
Use of the infection control intervention bundle was associated with reduced incidence of ILI at the Thai preschool.
To evaluate the risk factors for surgical site infection (SSI) after gastric surgery in patients in Korea.
A nationwide prospective multicenter study.
Twenty university-affiliated hospitals in Korea.
The Korean Nosocomial Infections Surveillance System (KONIS), a Web-based system, was developed. Patients in 20 Korean hospitals from 2007 to 2009 were prospectively monitored for SSI for up to 30 days after gastric surgery. Demographic data, hospital characteristics, and potential perioperative risk factors were collected and analyzed, using multivariate logistic regression models.
Of the 4,238 case patients monitored, 64.9% (2,752) were male, and mean age (±SD) was 58.8 (±12.3) years. The SSI rates were 2.92, 6.45, and 10.87 per 100 operations for the National Nosocomial Infections Surveillance system risk index categories of 0, 1, and 2 or 3, respectively. The majority (69.4%) of the SSIs observed were organ or space SSIs. The most frequently isolated microorganisms were Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Male sex (odds ratio [OR], 1.67 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.09–2.58]), increased operation time (1.20 [1.07–1.34] per 1-hour increase), reoperation (7.27 [3.68–14.38]), combined multiple procedures (1.79 [1.13–2.83]), prophylactic administration of the first antibiotic dose after skin incision (3.00 [1.09–8.23]), and prolonged duration (≥7 days) of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP; 2.70 [1.26–5.64]) were independently associated with increased risk of SSI.
Male sex, inappropriate SAP, and operation-related variables are independent risk factors for SSI after gastric surgery.
Studies conducted in tertiary care hospitals of different European countries and the United States have shown incidence rates of candidemia ranging from 0.17 to 0.76 and 0.28 to 0.96 per 1,000 admissions, respectively. So far, only 1 study has evaluated the incidence rates of candidemia in tertiary care hospitals in Latin American countries.
To evaluate the epidemiology of candidemia in 4 tertiary care hospitals in São Paulo, Brazil.
Multicenter, laboratory-based surveillance of candidemia.
A total of 7,038 episodes of bloodstream infection were identified, and Candida species accounted for 282 cases (4%). The incidence rate of candidemia was 1.66 candidemic episodes per 1,000 hospital admissions. Candida albicans was the most frequently isolated Candida species in all hospitals, but Candida species other than C. albicans accounted for 62% of isolates, including predominantly Candida parapsilosis and Candida tropicalis. Azole resistance was restricted to only 2% of all Candida isolates (1 isolate of Candida glabrata and 4 isolates of Candida rugosa). Candidemia was mostly documented in surgical patients with long durations of hospital stay. The crude mortality rate was 61%, and advanced age and high Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score were both conditions independently associated with risk of death.
We observed in our series a higher incidence rate of candidemia than that reported in European countries and the United States. Advanced age and a high Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II score were factors associated with a higher probability of death in candidemic patients. Fluconazole-resistant Candida strains are still a rare finding in our case-based study of candidemia.
To assess the feasibility and effectiveness of the World Health Organization hand hygiene improvement strategy in a low-income African country.
A before-and-after study from December 2006 through June 2008, with a 6-month baseline evaluation period and a follow-up period of 8 months from the beginning of the intervention.
University Hospital, Bamako, Mali.
TWO hundred twenty-four healthcare workers.
The intervention consisted of introducing a locally produced, alcohol-based handrub; monitoring hand hygiene compliance; providing performance feedback; educating staff; posting reminders in the workplace; and promoting an institutional safety climate according to the World Health Organization multimodal hand hygiene improvement strategy. Hand hygiene infrastructure, compliance, healthcare workers' knowledge and perceptions, and handrub consumption were evaluated at baseline and at follow-up.
Severe deficiencies in the infrastructure for hand hygiene were identified before the intervention. Local handrub production and quality control proved to be feasible, affordable, and satisfactory. At follow-up, handrubbing was the quasi-exclusive hand hygiene technique (93.3%). Compliance increased from 8.0% at baseline to 21.8% at follow-up (P < .001). Improvement was observed across all professional categories and medical specialities and was independently associated with the intervention (odds ratio, 2.50; 95% confidence interval, 1.8-3.5). Knowledge enhanced significantly (P < .05), and perception surveys showed a high appreciation of each strategy component by staff.
Multimodal hand hygiene promotion is feasible and effective in a low-income country. Access to handrub was critical for its success. These findings motivated the government of Mali to expand the intervention nationwide. This experience represents a significant advancement for patient safety in developing countries.