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To study a cluster of Mycobacterium wolinskyi surgical site infections (SSIs).
Observational and case-control study.
Subjects who developed SSIs with M. wolinskyi following cardiothoracic surgery.
Electronic surveillance was performed for case finding as well as electronic medical record review of infected cases. Surgical procedures were observed. Medical chart review was conducted to identify risk factors. A case-control study was performed to identify risk factors for infection; Fisher exact or Kruskal-Wallis tests were used for comparisons of proportions and medians, respectively. Patient isolates were studied using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Environmental microbiologic sampling was performed in operating rooms, including high-volume water sampling.
Six definite cases of M. wolinskyi SSI following cardiothoracic surgery were identified during the outbreak period (October 1, 2008–September 30, 2011). Having cardiac surgery in operating room A was significantly associated with infection (odds ratio, 40; P = .0027). Observational investigation revealed a cold-air blaster exclusive to operating room A as well a microbially contaminated, self-contained water source used in heart-lung machines. The isolates were indistinguishable or closely related by PFGE. No environmental samples were positive for M. wolinskyi.
No single point source was established, but 2 potential sources, including a cold-air blaster and a microbially contaminated, self-contained water system used in heart-lung machines for cardiothoracic operations, were identified. Both of these potential sources were removed, and subsequent active surveillance did not reveal any further cases of M. wolinskyi SSI.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2014;35(9):1169-1175
Develop and implement an effective program for hazard analysis and control of waterborne pathogens at a multicampus hospital with clinics.
A longitudinal study. Several-year study including analysis of results from monitoring and tests of 26 building water systems.
Outpatient and inpatient healthcare facilities network.
The hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) process was used to develop a water management program (WMP) for the hospital campuses. The HACCP method systematically addressed 3 questions: (1) What are the potential waterborne hazards in the building water systems of these facilities? (2) How are the hazards being controlled? (3) How do we know that the hazards have been controlled? Microbiological and chemical tests of building water samples were used to validate the performance of the WMP; disease surveillance data further validated effective hazard control.
Hazard analysis showed that waterborne pathogens were generally in good control and that the water quality was good in all facilities. The hospital network has had several legionellosis cases that were identified as presumptive hospital acquired, but none was confirmed or substantiated by water testing in follow-up investigations. Building water system studies unrelated to these cases showed that pressure tanks and electronic automatic faucets required additional hazard control.
Application of the HACCP process for long-term building water systems management was practical and effective. The need for critical control point management of temperature, flow, and oxidant (chlorine) residual concentration was emphasized. The process resulted in discovery of water system components requiring additional hazard control.
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