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The impact of antimicrobial scrubs on healthcare worker (HCW) bacterial burden is unknown.
To determine die effectiveness of antimicrobial scrubs on hand and apparel bacterial burden.
Prospective, crossover trial.
Setting and Participants.
Thirty HCWs randomized to study versus control scrubs in an intensive care unit.
Weekly microbiology samples were obtained from scrub abdominal area, cargo pocket, and hands. Mean log colony-forming unit (CFU) counts were calculated. Compliance with hand hygiene practices was measured. Apparel and hand mean log CFU counts were compared.
Adherence measures were 78% (910/1,173) for hand hygiene and 82% (223/273) for scrubs. Culture compliance was 67% (306/460). No differences were observed in bacterial hand burden or in HCWs with unique positive scrub cultures. No difference in vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) and gram-negative rod (GNR) burden was observed. A difference in mean log mediicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) CFU count was found between study and control scrubs for leg cargo pocket (mean log CFUs, 11.84 control scrub vs 6.71 study scrub; P = .0002), abdominal area (mean log CFUs, 11.35 control scrub vs 7.54 study scrub; P = .0056), leg cargo pocket at die beginning of shift (mean log CFUs, 11.96 control scrub vs 4.87 study scrub; P = .0028), and abdominal area pocket at die end of shift (mean log CFUs, 12.14 control scrubs vs 8.22 study scrub; P = .0054).
Study scrubs were associated witfi a 4–7 mean log reduction in MRSA burden but not VRE or GNRs. A prospective trial is needed to measure die impact of antimicrobial impregnated apparel on MRSA transmission rates.
To compare the efficacy of universal gloving with emollient-impregnated gloves with standard contact precautions for the control of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) and to measure the effect on healthcare workers' (HCWs') hand skin health.
Prospective before-after trial.
An 18-bed surgical intensive care unit.
During phase 1 (September 2007 through March 2008) standard contact precautions were used. During phase 2 (March 2008 through September 2008) universal gloving with emollient-impregnated gloves was used, and no contact precautions. Patients were screened for vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). HCW hand hygiene compliance and hand skin health and microbial contamination were assessed. The incidences of device-associated infection and Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) were determined.
The rate of compliance with contact precautions (phase 1) was 67%, and the rate of compliance with universal gloving (phase 2) was 78% (P = .01). Hand hygiene compliance was higher during phase 2 than during phase 1 (before patient care, 40% vs 35% of encounters; P = .001; after patient care, 63% vs 51% of encounters; P < .001). No difference was observed in MDRO acquisition. During phases 1 and 2, incidences of device-related infections, in number of infections per 1,000 device-days, were, respectively, 3.7 and 2.6 for bloodstream infection (P = .10), 8.9 and 7.8 for urinary tract infection (P = .10), and 1.0 and 1.1 for ventilator-associated pneumonia (P = .09). The CDI incidence in phase 1 and in phase 2 was, respectively, 2.0 and 1.4 cases per 1,000 patient-days (P = .53). During phase 1, 29% of HCW hand cultures were MRSA positive, compared with 13% during phase 2 (P = .17); during phase 1, 2% of hand cultures were VRE positive, compared with 0 during phase 2 (P = .16). Hand skin health improved during phase 2.
Compared with contact precautions, universal gloving with emollient-impregnated gloves was associated with improved hand hygiene compliance and skin health. No statistically significant change in the rates of device-associated infection, CDI, or patient MDRO acquisition was observed. Universal gloving may be an alternative to contact precautions.
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