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To estimate the risk of transmission of antibiotic-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (RGNB) to gowns and gloves worn by healthcare personnel (HCP) when providing care to residents of community-based nursing facilities to identify the types of care and resident characteristics associated with transmission.
Prospective observational study.
Settings and participants
Residents and HCP from 13 community-based nursing facilities in Maryland and Michigan.
Perianal swabs were collected from residents and cultured to detect RGNB. HCP wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities, and at the end of each interaction, these were swabbed in a standardized manner. Transmission of RGNB from a colonized resident to gowns and gloves was estimated. Odds ratios (ORs) of transmission associated with type of care or resident characteristic were calculated.
We enrolled 403 residents and their HCP in this study. Overall, 19% of enrolled residents with a perianal swab (n=399) were colonized with at least 1 RGNB. RGNB transmission to either gloves or gowns occurred during 11% of the 584 interactions. Showering the resident, hygiene or toilet assistance, and wound dressing changes were associated with a high risk of transmission. Glucose monitoring and assistance with feeding or medication were associated with a low risk of transmission. Residents with a pressure ulcer were 3 times more likely to transmit RGNB than residents without one (OR, 3.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–11.1).
Gown and glove use in community nursing facilities should be prioritized for certain residents and care interactions that are deemed a high risk for transmission.
To estimate the frequency of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) transmission to gowns and gloves worn by healthcare workers (HCWs) interacting with nursing home residents to better inform infection prevention policies in this setting
Participants were recruited from 13 community-based nursing homes in Maryland and Michigan
Residents and HCWs from these nursing homes
Residents were cultured for MRSA at the anterior nares and perianal or perineal skin. HCWs wore gowns and gloves during usual care activities. At the end of each activity, a research coordinator swabbed the HCW’s gown and gloves.
A total of 403 residents were enrolled; 113 were MRSA colonized. Glove contamination was higher than gown contamination (24% vs 14% of 954 interactions; P<.01). Transmission varied greatly by type of care from 0% to 24% for gowns and from 8% to 37% for gloves. We identified high-risk care activities: dressing, transferring, providing hygiene, changing linens, and toileting the resident (OR >1.0; P<.05). We also identified low-risk care activities: giving medications and performing glucose monitoring (OR<1.0; P<.05). Residents with chronic skin breakdown had significantly higher rates of gown and glove contamination.
MRSA transmission from MRSA-positive residents to HCW gown and gloves is substantial; high-contact activities of daily living confer the highest risk. These activities do not involve overt contact with body fluids, skin breakdown, or mucous membranes, which suggests the need to modify current standards of care involving the use of gowns and gloves in the nursing home setting.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2015;36(9):1050–1057
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