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To reduce the rate of late-onset sepsis in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) by decreasing the rate of central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI).
We conducted a quasi-experimental study of an educational intervention designed to improve the quality of clinical practice in an NICU. Participants included all NICU patients with a central venous catheter (CVC). Data were collected during the period from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2007, to document existing CLABSI rates and CVC-related practices. A multidisciplinary quality improvement committee was established to review these and published data and to create guidelines for CVC placement and management. Educational efforts were conducted to implement these practices. Postintervention CLABSI rates were collected during the period from January 1, 2008, through March 31, 2009, and compared with preintervention data and with benchmark data from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
The rate of CLABSI in the NICU decreased from 8.40 to 1.28 cases per 1,000 central line–days (adjusted rate ratio, 0.19 [95% confidence interval, 0.08–0.45]). This rate was lower than the NHSN benchmark rate for level III NICUs. The overall rate of late-onset sepsis was reduced from 5.84 to 1.42 cases per 1,000 patient-days (rate difference, −4.42 cases per 1,000 patient-days [95% confidence interval, −5.55 to −3.30 cases per 1,000 patient-days]).
It is possible to reduce the rate of CLABSI, and therefore the rate of late-onset sepsis, by establishing and adhering to evidence-based guidelines. Sustainability depends on continued data surveillance, knowledge of medical and nursing literature, and timely feedback to the staff. The techniques established are applicable to other populations and areas of inpatient care.
To determine the frequency of conjunctival colonization, identify the colonizing flora, and correlate culture results with physical findings in infants in a NICU
Level III NICU of a large university teaching hospital.
All infants admitted for longer than 24 hours during a 26-week period.
Weekly bacterial conjunctival cultures were performed for all infants. The conjunctival appearance at the time of culture was recorded. The frequency, identity, and correlation of culture results with physical findings were determined.
One thousand ninety-one cultures were performed for 319 infants: 133 (42%) had no positive cultures and 186 (58%) had at least one positive culture. Culture analysis revealed that 411 (38%) were positive and yielded 494 isolates comprising more than 18 bacterial species. Bacteria most commonly isolated included coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) (75%), viridans group streptococci (8.7%), Staphylococcus aureus (3.8%), Enterococcus species (2.6%), and Serratia marcescens (2.4%). The frequency of non-CoNS isolates increased significantly during the first 6 weeks of patient hospital stay (6% [1 to 3 weeks] to 12% [4 to 6 weeks]; P = .01), with an increasing trend to 15 weeks (18%). Correlation of bacteriologic results with physical findings demonstrated that infants with non-CoNS isolates exhibited conjunctival edema, erythema, or exudates more frequently than did infants with CoNS alone (30% vs 13%; P = .0001).
Conjunctival colonization was common among infants in a NICU. Prolonged hospitalization predisposes to colonization with potentially pathogenic organisms. Physical findings were more likely in patients with non-CoNS conjunctival isolates.
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