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Nosocomial transmission of malaria is a rare phenomenon in the United States.
To describe the probable transmission of Plasmodium falciparum malaria from a patient to a healthcare worker and then from the healthcare worker to another patient.
Two community hospitals in Massachusetts.
Routine medical and supportive care.
Clinical and laboratory evaluation.
A nurse developed falciparum malaria after a needlestick injury from a patient with documented falciparum malaria. Three days prior to her diagnosis, she cared for another patient, who subsequently developed falciparum malaria. That patient's parasite isolate genetically matched the nurse's isolate by two independent DNA fingerprinting techniques.
After extensive evaluation, we believe that a nurse who had acquired falciparum malaria via needlestick subsequently transmitted malaria to another patient via a break in standard precautions. The implications of this mechanism of transmission are discussed.
Review of health plan administrative data has been shown to be more sensitive than other methods for identifying postdischarge surgical-site infections (SSIs), but there has not been a direct comparison between this method and hospital-based surveillance for all infections, including those diagnosed before discharge. We compared these two methods for identifying SSIs following coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) procedures:.
We studied 1,352 CABG procedures performed among members of one health plan from March 1993 through June 1997. Health plan administrative records were reviewed based on claims containing diagnoses or procedures suggestive of infection or outpatient dispensing of antibiotics appropriate for SSI. Hospital-based surveillance information was also reviewed. SSI rates were calculated based on the total events identified by either mechanism.
Postdischarge information was reviewed for 328 (85%) of 388 procedures. SSIs were confirmed in 167 patients (13% overall risk of confirmed SSI; range, 3% to 14% in the 5 hospitals). The overall sensitivity of hospital-based surveillance was 49.7% (83 of 167), and that of health plan data was 71.8% (120 of 167). There was no significant difference among hospitals in the sensitivity of either surveillance mechanism.
Surveillance based on health plan data identified more postoperative infections, including those occurring before discharge, than did hospital-based surveillance. Screening administrative data and pharmacy activity may be an important adjunct to SSI surveillance, allowing efficient comparison of hospital-specific rates. Interpretation of differences among hospitals' infection rates requires case mix adjustment and understanding of variations in hospitals' discharge diagnosis coding practices
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