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To assess potential transmission of antibiotic-resistant organisms (AROs) using surrogate markers and bacterial cultures.
A 1,260-bed tertiary-care academic medical center.
The study included 25 patients (17 of whom were on contact precautions for AROs) and 77 healthcare personnel (HCP).
Fluorescent powder (FP) and MS2 bacteriophage were applied in patient rooms. HCP visits to each room were observed for 2–4 hours; hand hygiene (HH) compliance was recorded. Surfaces inside and outside the room and HCP skin and clothing were assessed for fluorescence, and swabs were collected for MS2 detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and selective bacterial cultures.
Transfer of FP was observed for 20 rooms (80%) and 26 HCP (34%). Transfer of MS2 was detected for 10 rooms (40%) and 15 HCP (19%). Bacterial cultures were positive for 1 room and 8 HCP (10%). Interactions with patients on contact precautions resulted in fewer FP detections than interactions with patients not on precautions (P < .001); MS2 detections did not differ by patient isolation status. Fluorescent powder detections did not differ by HCP type, but MS2 was recovered more frequently from physicians than from nurses (P = .03). Overall, HH compliance was better among HCP caring for patients on contact precautions than among HCP caring for patients not on precautions (P = .003), among nurses than among other nonphysician HCP at room entry (P = .002), and among nurses than among physicians at room exit (P = .03). Moreover, HCP who performed HH prior to assessment had fewer fluorescence detections (P = .008).
Contact precautions were associated with greater HCP HH compliance and reduced detection of FP and MS2.
To determine the prevalence of Clostridium difficile colonization among patients who meet the 2017 IDSA/SHEA C. difficile infection (CDI) Clinical Guideline Update criteria for the preferred patient population for C. difficile testing.
Tertiary-care hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
Patients whose diarrheal stool samples were submitted to the hospital’s clinical microbiology laboratory for C. difficile testing (toxin EIA) from August 2014 to September 2016.
Electronic and manual chart review were used to determine whether patients tested for C. difficile toxin had clinically significant diarrhea and/or any alternate cause for diarrhea. Toxigenic C. difficile culture was performed on all stool specimens from patients with clinically significant diarrhea and no known alternate cause for their diarrhea.
A total of 8,931 patients with stool specimens submitted were evaluated: 570 stool specimens were EIA positive (+) and 8,361 stool specimens were EIA negative (−). Among the EIA+stool specimens, 107 (19% of total) were deemed eligible for culture. Among the EIA− stool specimens, 515 (6%) were eligible for culture. One EIA+stool specimen (1%) was toxigenic culture negative. Among the EIA− stool specimens that underwent culture, toxigenic C. difficile was isolated from 63 (12%).
Most patients tested for C. difficile do not have clinically significant diarrhea and/or potential alternate causes for diarrhea. The prevalence of toxigenic C. difficile colonization among EIA− patients who met the IDSA/SHEA CDI guideline criteria for preferred patient population for C. difficile testing was 12%.
To evaluate healthcare worker (HCW) risk of self-contamination when donning and doffing personal protective equipment (PPE) using fluorescence and MS2 bacteriophage.
Prospective pilot study.
A total of 36 HCWs were included in this study: 18 donned/doffed contact precaution (CP) PPE and 18 donned/doffed Ebola virus disease (EVD) PPE.
HCWs donned PPE according to standard protocols. Fluorescent liquid and MS2 bacteriophage were applied to HCWs. HCWs then doffed their PPE. After doffing, HCWs were scanned for fluorescence and swabbed for MS2. MS2 detection was performed using reverse transcriptase PCR. The donning and doffing processes were videotaped, and protocol deviations were recorded.
Overall, 27% of EVD PPE HCWs and 50% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while donning, and 100% of EVD PPE HCWs and 67% of CP PPE HCWs made ≥1 protocol deviation while doffing (P=.02). The median number of doffing protocol deviations among EVD PPE HCWs was 4, versus 1 among CP PPE HCWs. Also, 15 EVD PPE protocol deviations were committed by doffing assistants and/or trained observers. Fluorescence was detected on 8 EVD PPE HCWs (44%) and 5 CP PPE HCWs (28%), most commonly on hands. MS2 was recovered from 2 EVD PPE HCWs (11%) and 3 CP PPE HCWs (17%).
Protocol deviations were common during both EVD and CP PPE doffing, and some deviations during EVD PPE doffing were committed by the HCW doffing assistant and/or the trained observer. Self-contamination was common. PPE donning/doffing are complex and deserve additional study.