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To determine the safety and treatment efficacy of cycling antibiotic regimens for prophylaxis or treatment of patients with profound neutropenia.
A prospective, nonrandomized, observational trial.
A 20-bed adult hematology-oncology inpatient unit at a university referral hospital.
Hospitalized adult patients with chemotherapy-or radiation-induced neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count less than 500 cells/mm3).
Between July 1994 and January 1996, 295 hospitalized patients were evaluated on an intent-to-treat basis for the cycling protocol. Of these, 271 were eligible and assigned to one of four antibiotic regimens being used at the time of enrollment: (1) ceftazidime+vancomycin; (2) imipenem; (3) aztreonam+cefazolin; (4) ciprofloxacin+clindamycin. Data on infection rates and types, and antibiotic resistance patterns, toxicity, and effectiveness were collected.
Twenty-four patients were excluded. Of the 271 evaluable patients, 123 (42%) were able to complete treatment on the assigned regimen. Of the 148 patients (50%) unable to do so, the reasons for failure included persistent fever (79%), breakthrough bacteremia (14%), and drug toxicity (7%). The antibiotic susceptibility profiles over the study period showed no increase in resistance. However, there was a marked increase in enterococcal infections.
Our data show no significant increase in side effects or decrease in efficacy while cycling antibiotics among neutropenic patients and thus support further study of its role.
To describe the use of zanamivir during an influenza A outbreak.
Residents of a 176-bed long-term-care facility for the elderly in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, 90% of whom received influenza vaccine in the fall of 1998.
When respiratory illness due to influenza A was confirmed, infection control measures and amantadine prophylaxis were initiated. Despite these measures, transmission of influenza A continued.
Zanamivir inhalations, 10 mg daily for prophylaxis and 10 mg twice daily for treatment of influenza.
There were 13 definite and 66 probable outbreak-associated cases of influenza A. Twelve (15%) cases developed pneumonia, 7 (9%) were hospitalized, and 2 (2.6%) died. All 12 culture-positive cases yielded influenza A/Sydney/H3N2/05/97-like virus, a 1998/99 vaccine component. The three isolates obtained prior to the initiation of amantadine were amantadine-susceptible; all nine obtained after prophylaxis was instituted were amantadine-resistant. One hundred twenty-nine (92%) of 140 residents who were offered zanamivir accepted it and were able to attempt inhalations. Of these 129, 78% (100) had no difficulty in complying with inhalations. Difficulty with inhalations was associated with decreased functional and mental status. Fifteen (58%) of 26 residents fully dependent in activities of daily living had difficulty compared to 14 (14%) of 100 others (P<.001). Twenty-two (45%) of 49 residents not oriented to person, place, or time had difficulty compared to 7 (10%) of 77 others (P<001). In the 2 weeks after zanamivir prophylaxis, only 2 new cases of respiratory illness occurred, neither confirmed as influenza. No side effects were identified in 128 zanamivir-treated residents.
A minority of nursing home residents have difficulty following instructions for zanamivir inhalations. Zanamivir was well tolerated, and its use was temporally associated with termination of an outbreak that amantadine had failed to control.
To describe an outbreak of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bloodstream infection (BSD and endotracheal tube (ETT) colonization in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), determine risk factors for infection, and make preventive recommendations.
A 15-month cohort study followed by a case-control study with an environmental survey and molecular typing of available isolates using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.
Setting and Patients:
Neonates in the NICU of a university-affiliated children's hospital.
Improved hand washing and restriction of use of long or artificial fingernails.
Of 439 neonates admitted during the study period, 46 (10.5%) acquired P aeruginosa; 16 (35%) of those died. Fifteen (75%) of 20 patients for whom isolates were genotyped had genotype A and 3 (15%) had genotype B. Of 104 healthcare workers (HCWs) from whom hand cultures were obtained, P aeruginosa was isolated from three nurses. Cultures from nurses A-1 and A-2 grew genotype A and cultures from nurse B grew genotype B. Nurse A-1 had long natural fingernails, nurse B had long artificial fingernails, and nurse A-2 had short natural fingernails. On multivariate logistic regression analysis, exposure to nurse A-l and exposure to nurse B were each independently associated with acquiring a BSI or ETT colonization with P aeruginosa, but other variables, including exposure to nurse A-2, were not.
Epidemiological evidence demonstrated an association between acquiring P aeruginosa and exposure to two nurses. Genetic and environmental evidence supported that association and suggested, but did not prove, a possible role for long or artificial fingernails in the colonization of HCWs' hands with P aeruginosa. Requiring short natural fingernails in NICUs is a reasonable policy that might reduce the incidence of hospital-acquired infections.
To compare the frequency of skin irritation and dryness associated with using an alcoholic–hand-gel regimen for hand antisepsis versus using soap and water for hand washing.
Prospective randomized trial with crossover design. Irritation and dryness of nurses' hands were evaluated by self-assessment and by visual assessment by a study nurse. Epidermal water content of the dorsal surface of nurses' hands was estimated by measuring electrical capacitance of the skin.
Miriam Hospital, a 200-bed university-affiliated teaching hospital.
Thirty-two nurses working on three hospital wards participated in the trial, which lasted 6 weeks.
Self-assessment scores of skin irritation and dryness decreased slightly during the 2 weeks when nurses used the alcoholic–hand-gel regimen (mean baseline score, 2.72; mean final score, 2.0; P=.08) but increased substantially during the 2 weeks when nurses used soap and water (mean baseline score, 2.0; mean final score, 4.8; P<.0001). Visual assessment scores by the study nurse of skin irritation and dryness did not change significantly when the alcoholic–hand-gel regimen was used (mean baseline and final scores were both 0.55), but scores increased substantially when nurses used soap and water (baseline score, 0.59; mean final score, 1.21; P=.05). Epidermal water content of the dorsal surface of nurses' hands changed little when the alcoholic–hand-gel regimen was used (mean ± standard deviation baseline electrical capacitance reading, 24.8±6.8; mean final reading, 25.7±7.3), but decreased significantly (skin became dryer) with soap-and-water hand washing (mean baseline, 25.9±7.5; mean final reading, 20.5±5.4; P=.0003).
Hand antisepsis with an alcoholic–hand-gel regimen was well tolerated and did not result in skin irritation and dryness of nurses' hands. In contrast, skin irritation and dryness increased significantly when nurses washed their hands with the unmedicated soap product available in the hospital. Newer alcoholic hand gels that are tolerated better than soap may be more acceptable to staff and may lead to improved hand-hygiene practices.