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To evaluate the effect of 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated central venous catheter caps on ambulatory central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) in pediatric hematology-oncology patients.
This study was a 24-month, cluster-randomized, 2 period, crossover clinical trial.
The study was conducted in 15 pediatric healthcare institutions, including 16 pediatric hematology-oncology clinics.
All patients with an external central line followed at 1 of the 16 hematology-oncology clinics.
Usual ambulatory central-line care per each institution using 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps at home compared to usual ambulatory central-line care in each institution without using 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps.
Of the 16 participating clinics, 15 clinics completed both assignment periods. As assigned, there was no reduction in CLABSI incidence in clinics using 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps (1.23 per 1,000 days) compared with standard practices (1.38 per 1,000 days; adjusted incidence rate ratio [aIRR], 0.83; 95% CI, 0.63–1.11). In the per-protocol population, there was a reduction in positive blood culture incidence in clinics using 70% isopropyl alcohol-impregnated caps (1.51 per 1,000 days) compared with standard practices (1.88 per 1,000 days; aIRR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.52–0.99). No adverse events were reported.
Isopropyl alcohol–impregnated central-line caps did not lead to a statistically significant reduction in CLABSI rates in ambulatory hematology-oncology patients. In the per-protocol analysis, there was a statistically significant decrease in positive blood cultures. Larger trials are needed to elucidate the impact of 70% isopropyl alcohol–impregnated caps in the ambulatory setting.
Critical shortages of personal protective equipment, especially N95 respirators, during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues to be a source of concern. Novel methods of N95 filtering face-piece respirator decontamination that can be scaled-up for in-hospital use can help address this concern and keep healthcare workers (HCWs) safe.
A multidisciplinary pragmatic study was conducted to evaluate the use of an ultrasonic room high-level disinfection system (HLDS) that generates aerosolized peracetic acid (PAA) and hydrogen peroxide for decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators. A cycle duration that consistently achieved disinfection of N95 respirators (defined as ≥6 log10 reductions in bacteriophage MS2 and Geobacillus stearothermophilus spores inoculated onto respirators) was identified. The treated masks were assessed for changes to their hydrophobicity, material structure, strap elasticity, and filtration efficiency. PAA and hydrogen peroxide off-gassing from treated masks were also assessed.
The PAA room HLDS was effective for disinfection of bacteriophage MS2 and G. stearothermophilus spores on respirators in a 2,447 cubic-foot (69.6 cubic-meter) room with an aerosol deployment time of 16 minutes and a dwell time of 32 minutes. The total cycle time was 1 hour and 16 minutes. After 5 treatment cycles, no adverse effects were detected on filtration efficiency, structural integrity, or strap elasticity. There was no detectable off-gassing of PAA and hydrogen peroxide from the treated masks at 20 and 60 minutes after the disinfection cycle, respectively.
The PAA room disinfection system provides a rapidly scalable solution for in-hospital decontamination of large numbers of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Background: Including infection preventionists (IPs) in hospital design, construction, and renovation projects is important. According to the Joint Commission, “Infection control oversights during building design or renovations commonly result in regulatory problems, millions lost and even patient deaths.” We evaluated the number of active major construction projects at our 800-bed hospital with 6.0 IP FTEs and the IP time required for oversight. Methods: We reviewed construction records from October 2018 through October 2019. We classified projects as active if any construction occurred during the study period. We describe the types of projects: inpatient, outpatient, non–patient care, and the potential impact to patient health through infection control risk assessments (ICRA). ICRAs were classified as class I (non–patient-care area and minimal construction activity), class II (patients are not likely to be in the area and work is small scale), class III (patient care area and work requires demolition that generates dust), and class IV (any area requiring environmental precautions). We calculated the time spent visiting construction sites and in design meetings. Results: During October 2018–October 2019, there were 51 active construction projects with an average of 15 active sites per week. These sites included a wide range of projects from a new bone marrow transplant unit, labor and delivery expansion and renovation, space conversion to an inpatient unit to a project for multiple air handler replacements. All 51 projects were classified as class III or class IV. We visited, on average, 4 construction sites each week for 30 minutes per site, leaving 11 sites unobserved due to time constraints. We spent an average of 120 minutes weekly, but 450 minutes would have been required to observe all 15 sites. Yearly, the required hours to observe these active construction sites once weekly would be 390 hours. In addition to the observational hours, 124 hours were spent in design meetings alone, not considering the preparation time and follow-up required for these meetings. Conclusions: In a large academic medical center, IPs had time available to visit only a quarter of active projects on an ongoing basis. Increasing dedicated IP time in construction projects is essential to mitigating infection control risks in large hospitals.
Background:Clostridioides difficile infections (CDIs) present and are transmitted in both community and healthcare settings. Patients who become colonized or infected during hospitalization may be discharged into the community. Asymptomatic spread and/or community-based transmission have also been posited as alternative sources for healthcare-onset CDI cases. The objective of our study was to determine whether individuals are at greater risk for developing a CDI if they have a family member that spent time hospitalized in the prior 90 days, even if the hospitalized family member had no prior diagnosis of CDI. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the Truven Marketscan database from 2001 through 2017; both commercial claims and Medicare supplemental data were included. We categorized enrollees by age, sex, month, year, exposure to a family member with CDI, hospitalization, or high- or low-risk antibiotic use in the prior 90 days. We then subdivided these groups based on the total amount of time that other family members spent hospitalized in the prior 90 days: ≤4 days, 5–10, 11–20, 21–30, 41–50 or >50 days. Within each subgroup, we computed the incidence of CDI. We then used a stratified regression model (log-linear quasi-Poisson) to estimate the incidence of CDI in each enrollment bin. Finally, we repeated our analysis using all CDI cases, CDI cases with no prior CDI in the family, and cases without prior hospitalization. Results: Over the 17-year study period, >5.1 billion enrollment months were represented in our dataset. We identified 224,818 cases of CDI, 223,744 cases without prior CDI in a family member and 164,650 CDI cases where the case patient had no prior hospitalization. Table 1 depicts the estimated risk (incident rate ratios) associated with the amount of time that other family members spent hospitalized in the prior 90 days. There is a very clear dose–response curve, and the relative risk for CDI increase as the amount of time other family members spent hospitalized increased. Other risk factors included prior hospitalization, low- and high-risk antibiotics, age, female sex and exposure to a family member with CDI. Conclusions: Having a family member who has been hospitalized in the prior 90 days significantly increases the risk for CDI, even if the family member did not have CDI. The total amount of time other family members spent in the hospital is positively associated with the level of risk.
Funding: CDC Modeling Infectious Diseases (MInD) in Healthcare Network
Background: The Changing Lives by Eradicating Antibiotic Resistance (CLEAR) Trial was a trial of 2,121 recently discharged methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carriers randomized to MRSA education plus a 5-day decolonization regimen repeated twice monthly for the 6 months following discharge versus MRSA education alone. Decolonization resulted in a 30% reduction in MRSA infection and a 17% reduction in all-cause infection (Huang SS et al, NEJM, 2019) in the year following discharge. We pursued an evaluation of USA300 carriers to determine whether the decolonization benefit differed for this strain type. Methods: A secondary analysis of the CLEAR randomized controlled trial (RCT) was performed, limiting the cohort to participants known to harbor USA300 at or within 30 days of enrollment and who attended all follow-up visits in the year following discharge. Within this subset, we conducted a time-to-event analysis using unadjusted and adjusted Cox proportional-hazard models. Variables in adjusted analyses included demographic data, insurance type, presence of coexisting conditions or medical devices at enrollment, hospitalization or residence in a nursing home in the year before enrollment, receipt of anti-MRSA antibiotics, protocol adherence, and randomization strata. Results: USA300 was identified in 420 of the 783 participants who attended all visits and had strains genetically tested. MRSA infections occurred in 27 of 207 education group participants (0.149 per person year) and in 19 of 213 decolonization group participants (0.099 per-person year). Point estimates from the unadjusted hazard ratios of infection reduction were similar (0.59; 95% CI, 0.32–1.09) to the full trial population (0.61; 95% CI, 0.44–0.85), suggesting nondifferential benefit for the USA300 strain type. Adjusted models were highly similar. Conclusions: The reduction in MRSA infection associated with postdischarge decolonization in the subgroup of participants who harbored the USA300 strain-type was consistent with overall trial findings. Although the original trial was not powered for the evaluation of a USA300 subset, this RCT provides a valuable design for assessing the magnitude of strain-specific responsiveness to decolonization during a time when national rates of MRSA invasive disease have plateaued and USA300 is responsible for an increasing proportion of infections. These data suggest that postdischarge decolonization should be similarly effective in carriers of either USA300 or healthcare-associated MRSA strains.
Disclosure: Gabrielle M. Gussin, Stryker (Sage Products): Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Clorox: Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Medline: Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Xttrium: Conducting studies in which antiseptic product is provided to participating hospitals and nursing homes. Mohamad Sater, Salary-Day Zero Diagnostics.
Background: Blood cultures are essential diagnostic tools used to identify bloodstream infections and to guide antimicrobial therapy. However, collecting cultures without clear indications or that do not inform management can lead to false-positive results and unnecessary use of antibiotics. Blood culture practices vary significantly in critically ill children. Our objective was to create a consensus guideline focusing on when to safely avoid blood cultures in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients. Methods: A panel of multidisciplinary experts, many participating in the Blood Culture Improvement Guidelines and Diagnostic Stewardship for Antibiotic Reduction in Critically Ill Children (Bright STAR) Collaborative, engaged in a 2-part modified Delphi process. Round 1 consisted of a preparatory literature summary and an electronic survey sent to subject matter experts (SMEs). In the survey, SMEs rated a series of recommendations about when to avoid blood cultures on a 5-point Likert scale, 1 being the lowest score and 5 being the highest score. Consensus was achieved for each recommendation if 75% of respondents chose a score of 4 or 5, and these were included in the final guideline. Any recommendations that did not meet these a priori criteria for consensus were set aside for discussion during the in-person expert panel review (round 2). An outside expert in consensus methodology facilitated round 2. After a review of the survey results and comments from round 1 and group discussion, the SMEs voted on these recommendations in real time. Voting was blinded. Participants included Bright STAR site leads, national content experts, and representatives from relevant national societies. Results: We received 29 completed surveys from 34 invited participants for an 85% response rate. Of the 27 round 1 recommendations, 18 met predetermined criteria for consensus. Round 2 included 26 in-person voting participants who (1) discussed and modified the 9 recommendations that had not met round 1 consensus, and (2) modified for clarity or condensed from multiple into single recommendations the 18 recommendations that had met the round 1 consensus. The final document contains 19 recommendations that provide guidance on how to safely improve blood culture use in PICU patients (Table 1). Also, 8 recommendations discussed did not reach consensus for inclusion. Conclusions: Using a modified Delphi process, we created consensus recommendations on when to avoid blood cultures and prevent overuse in critically ill children. These guidelines are a critical step in disseminating diagnostic stewardship and reducing unnecessary testing on a wider scale.
Funding: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, R18 HS025642-01, 9/2017 – 9/2020 (Aaron Milstone, PI)
Background:Clostridioides difficile is a leading cause of healthcare-associated infections, and greater healthcare exposure is a primary risk factor for Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI). Longer hospital stays and greater CDI pressure, both at the hospital level and the level, have been linked to greater risk. In addition, symptoms associated with healthcare-associated CDI often do not present until a patient has been discharged. Our study objective was to estimate the extent to which exposure to different types of healthcare settings (eg, prior hospitalization, emergency department [ED], outpatient or long-term care) increase risk for hospital-onset CDI. Methods: We conducted a case-control study using the Truven Marketscan Commerical Claims and Medicare Supplemental databases from 2001 to 2017. Case patients were selected as all inpatient visits with a secondary diagnosis of CDI and no previous CDI diagnosis in the prior 90 days. Controls were selected from all inpatient admissions without any CDI diagnosis during the current admission or prior 90 days. A logistic regression model was used to estimate risk associated with prior healthcare exposure. Indicators were created for prior exposure to different healthcare settings: separate indicators were used to indicate transfer, exposure to that setting in the prior 1–30 days, 31–60 days and 61–90 days. Separate indicators were created for prior hospitalization, ED, outpatient clinic, nursing home or long-term care facilities (LTCFs), psychiatric or substance-abuse facility or other outpatient facility. We also included an indicator for prior exposure to a family member with CDI and prior outpatient antibiotics. Results: Estimates for selected variables (odds ratios) are presented in Table 1. Prior hospitalization, ED visits, outpatient clinics, nursing home and LTCFs were all associated with increased risk of secondary diagnosed CDI. Prior hospitalization and nursing home/LTCF conveyed the greatest risk. In addition, a ‘dose-–response’ relationship occurred for each of these exposure settings, with exposure nearest the admission date having the largest risk. Prior exposure to psychiatric , substance abuse, or other outpatient facilities were not risk factors for CDI. Having a family member with prior CDI and both low-risk and high-risk outpatient antibiotics were associated with increased risk. These factors also exhibited a ‘dose–response’ pattern. Conclusions: Exposure to various healthcare settings significantly increased risk for secondary CDI. Prior healthcare exposures occurring nearest to the point of admission conveyed the greatest risk. These results suggest that many hospital-associated CDI cases attributed to a current hospital stay may actually be acquired from prior healthcare settings.
Funding: CDC Modeling Infectious Diseases (MInD) in Healthcare Network
Background: Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are a serious threat to public health due to high associated morbidity and mortality. Healthcare personnel (HCP) gloves and gowns are frequently contaminated with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, including CRE. We aimed to identify patients more likely to transmit CRE to HCP gloves or gowns and HCP types and interactions more likely to lead to glove or gown contamination. Methods:Between January 2016 and August 2018, patients with a clinical or surveillance culture positive for CRE in the preceding 7 days were enrolled at 5 hospitals in California, Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. Ten HCP–patient interactions were observed for each patient and were recorded by research staff. Following patient care, but prior to doffing, the gloves and gown of each HCP were sampled for the presence of CRE. Results: We enrolled 313 CRE-colonized patients, and we observed 3,070 HCP interactions. CRE was transmitted to HCP gloves in 242 of 3,070 observations (7.9%) and to gowns in 132 of 3,070 observations (4.3%). Transmission to either gloves or gown occurred in 308 of 3,070 interactions observed (10%). The most frequently identified organism was Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 171, 53.2%), followed by Enterobacter cloacae (n = 36, 11.2%), and Escherichia coli (n = 33, 10.3%). Patients in the intensive care unit (n = 177, 56.5%) were more likely to transmit CRE to HCP gloves or gown (OR, 1.65; 95% CI, 1.03–2.64) compared to those not in an ICU and adjusted for HCP type. The odds of CRE transmission increased with the number of different items touched near the patient (OR, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.21–1.44) and with the number of different items touched in the environment (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.06–1.21). Respiratory therapists had the highest rates of transmission to gloves and gown (OR, 3.79; 95% CI, 1.61–8.94), followed by physical therapists and occupational therapists (OR, 2.82; 95% CI, 1.01–8.32) when compared to HCP in the “other” category. Manipulating the rectal tube (OR, 3.03; 95% CI, 1.53–6.04), providing wound care (OR, 2.81; 95% CI, 1.73–4.59), and touching the endotracheal tube (OR, 2.79; 95% CI, 1.86–4.19) were the interactions most strongly associated with CRE transmission compared to not touching these items and adjusted for HCP type. Conclusions: Transmission of CRE to HCP gloves and gowns occurs frequently. We identified interactions and HCP types that were particularly high risk for transmission. Infection control programs may wish to target infection prevention resources and education toward these high-risk professions and interactions.
Funding: This work was supported by the CDC Prevention Epicenter Program (U43CK000450-01) and the NIH National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (R01 AI121146-01).
Background: Estimates of contamination of healthcare personnel (HCP) gloves and gowns with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) following interactions with colonized or infected patients range from 17% to 20%. Most studies were conducted in the intensive care unit (ICU) setting where patients had a recent positive clinical culture. The aim of this study was to determine the rate of MRSA transmission to HCP gloves and gown in non-ICU acute-care hospital units and to identify associated risk factors. Methods: Patients on contact precautions with history of MRSA colonization or infection admitted to non-ICU settings were randomly selected from electronic health records. We observed patient care activities and cultured the gloves and gowns of 10 HCP interactions per patient prior to doffing. Cultures from patients’ anterior nares, chest, antecubital fossa and perianal area were collected to quantify bacterial bioburden. Bacterial counts were log transformed. Results: We observed 55 patients (Fig. 1), and 517 HCP–patient interactions. Of the HCP–patient interactions, 16 (3.1%) led to MRSA contamination of HCP gloves, 18 (3.5%) led to contamination of HCP gown, and 28 (5.4%) led to contamination of either gloves or gown. In addition, 5 (12.8%) patients had a positive clinical or surveillance culture for MRSA in the prior 7 days. Nurses, physicians and technicians were grouped in “direct patient care”, and rest of the HCPs were included in “no direct care group.” Of 404 interactions, 26 (6.4%) of providers in the “direct patient care” group showed transmission of MRSA to gloves or gown in comparison to 2 of 113 (1.8%) interactions involving providers in the “no direct patient care” group (P = .05) (Fig. 2). The median MRSA bioburden was 0 log 10CFU/mL in the nares (range, 0–3.6), perianal region (range, 0–3.5), the arm skin (range, 0-0.3), and the chest skin (range, 0–6.2). Detectable bioburden on patients was negatively correlated with the time since placed on contact precautions (rs= −0.06; P < .001). Of 97 observations with detectable bacterial bioburden at any site, 9 (9.3%) resulted in transmission of MRSA to HCP in comparison to 11 (3.6%) of 310 observations with no detectable bioburden at all sites (P = .03). Conclusions: Transmission of MRSA to gloves or gowns of HCP caring for patients on contact precautions for MRSA in non-ICU settings was lower than in the ICU setting. More evidence is needed to help guide the optimal use of contact precautions for the right patient, in the right setting, for the right type of encounter.
In 2017, transgender woman Danica Roem stunned political observers in Virginia by unseating a long-time anti-LGBTQ legislator from a conservative district in the Virginia House of Delegates.1 She was the first openly transgender person elected and seated to a state legislature. Delegate Roem’s election was historic in LGBTQ political representation, but it also occurred in a period when backlash against the LGBTQ community seemed to be growing (Taylor, Lewis, and Haider-Markel 2018). These two threads led us to ask: How are LGBTQ candidates achieving historic successes even as forces seem mobilized against them?
Commercialization of 2,4-D–tolerant crops is a major concern for sweetpotato producers because of potential 2,4-D drift that can cause severe crop injury and yield reduction. A field study was initiated in 2014 and repeated in 2015 to assess impacts of reduced rates of 2,4-D, glyphosate, or a combination of 2,4-D with glyphosate on sweetpotato. In one study, 2,4-D and glyphosate were applied alone and in combination at 1/10, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/750, and 1/1,000 of anticipated field use rates (1.05 kg ha−1 for 2,4-D and 1.12 kg ha−1 for glyphosate) to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root formation (10 days after transplanting [DAP]). In a separate study, all these treatments were applied to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root development (30 DAP). Injury with 2,4-D alone or in combination with glyphosate was generally equal or greater than with glyphosate applied alone at equivalent herbicide rates, indicating that injury is attributable mostly to 2,4-D in the combination. There was a quadratic increase in crop injury and quadratic decrease in crop yield (with respect to most yield grades) with increased rate of 2,4-D applied alone or in combination with glyphosate applied at storage root development. However, neither the results of this relationship nor of the significance of herbicide rate were observed on crop injury or sweetpotato yield when herbicide application occurred at storage root formation, with a few exceptions. In general, crop injury and yield reduction were greatest at the highest rate (1/10×) of 2,4-D applied alone or in combination with glyphosate, although injury observed at lower rates was also a concern after initial observation by sweetpotato producers. However, in some cases, yield reduction of U.S. no.1 and marketable grades was also observed after application of 1/250×, 1/100×, or 1/10× rates of 2,4-D alone or with glyphosate when applied at storage root development.
A major concern of sweetpotato producers is the potential negative effects from herbicide drift or sprayer contamination events when dicamba is applied to nearby dicamba-resistant crops. A field study was initiated in 2014 and repeated in 2015 to assess the effects of reduced rates of N,N-Bis-(3-aminopropyl)methylamine (BAPMA) or diglycloamine (DGA) salt of dicamba, glyphosate, or a combination of these individually in separate trials with glyphosate on sweetpotato. Reduced rates of 1/10, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/750, and 1/1,000 of the 1× use rate of each dicamba formulation at 0.56 kg ha−1, glyphosate at 1.12 kg ha−1, and a combination of the two at aforementioned rates were applied to ‘Beauregard’ sweetpotato at storage root formation (10 d after transplanting) in one trial and storage root development (30 d after transplanting) in a separate trial. Injury with each salt of dicamba (BAPMA or DGA) applied alone or with glyphosate was generally equal to or greater than glyphosate applied alone at equivalent rates, indicating that injury is most attributable to the dicamba in the combination. There was a quadratic increase in crop injury and a quadratic decrease in crop yield (with respect to most yield grades) observed with an increased herbicide rate of dicamba applied alone or in combination with glyphosate applied at storage root development. However, with a few exceptions, neither this relationship nor the significance of herbicide rate was observed on crop injury or sweetpotato yield when herbicide application occurred at the storage root formation stage. In general, crop injury and yield reduction were greatest at the highest rate (1/10×) of either salt of dicamba applied alone or in combination with glyphosate, although injury observed at lower rates would be cause for concern after initial observation by sweetpotato producers. However, in some cases yield reduction of No.1 and marketable grades was observed following 1/250×, 1/100×, or 1/10× application rates of dicamba alone or with glyphosate when applied at storage root development.
The transmission rate of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) to gloves or gowns of healthcare personnel (HCP) caring for MRSA patients in a non–intensive care unit setting was 5.4%. Contamination rates were higher among HCP performing direct patient care and when patients had detectable MRSA on their body. These findings may inform risk-based contact precautions.