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To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of infection control among staff in a residential care facility for children and young adults with neurologic and neurodevelopmental conditions.
Residential care facility (facility A).
Facility A staff (N = 200).
We distributed a survey to staff at facility A. We classified staff with direct care responsibilities as clinical (ie, physicians, nurses, and therapists) or nonclinical (ie, habilitation assistants, volunteers, and teachers) and used X2 tests to measure differences between staff agreement to questions.
Of 248 surveys distributed, 200 (81%) were completed; median respondent age was 36 years; 85% were female; and 151 were direct care staff (50 clinical, 101 nonclinical). Among direct care staff respondents, 86% agreed they could identify residents with respiratory symptoms, 70% stayed home from work when ill with respiratory infection, 64% agreed that facility administration encouraged them to stay home when ill with respiratory infection, and 72% reported that ill residents with respiratory infections were separated from well residents. Clinical and nonclinical staff differed in agreement about using waterless hand gel as a substitute for handwashing (96% vs 78%; P = .005) and whether handwashing was done after touching residents (92% vs 75%; P = .04).
Respondents' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding infection control could be improved, especially among nonclinical staff. Facilities caring for children and young adults with neurologic and neurodevelopmental conditions should encourage adherence to infection control best practices among all staff having direct contact with residents.
In April 2009, 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) (hereafter, pH1N1) virus was identified in California, which caused widespread illness throughout the United States. We evaluated pH1N1 transmission among exposed healthcare personnel (HCP) and assessed the use and effectiveness of personal protective equipment (PPE) early in the outbreak.
Two hospitals and 1 outpatient clinic in Southern California during March 28-April 24, 2009.
Sixty-three HCP exposed to 6 of the first 8 cases of laboratory-confirmed pH1N1 in the United States.
Baseline and follow-up questionnaires were used to collect demographic, epidemiologic, and clinical data. Paired serum samples were obtained to test for pH1N1-specific antibodies by microneutralization and hemagglutination-inhibition assays. Serology results were compared with HCP work setting, role, and self-reported PPE use.
Possible healthcare-associated pH1N1 transmission was identified in 9 (14%) of 63 exposed HCP; 6 (67%) of 9 seropositive HCP had asymptomatic infection. The highest attack rates occurred among outpatient HCP (6/19 [32%]) and among allied health staff (eg, technicians; 8/33 [24%]). Use of mask or N95 respirator was associated with remaining seronegative (P = .047). Adherence to PPE recommendations for preventing transmission of influenza virus and other respiratory pathogens was inadequate, particularly in outpatient settings.
pH1N1 transmission likely occurred in healthcare settings early in the pandemic associated with inadequate PPE use. Organizational support for a comprehensive approach to infectious hazards, including infection prevention training for inpatient- and outpatient-based HCP, is essential to improve HCP and patient safety.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a well recognized risk for healthcare workers (HCWs), and routine vaccination of HCWs has been recommended since 1982. By 1995, the level of vaccination coverage among HCWs was only 67%.
To obtain an accurate estimate of hepatitis B vaccination coverage levels among HCWs and to describe the hospital characteristics and hepatitis B vaccination policies associated with various coverage levels.
A representative sample of 425 of 6,116 American Hospital Association member hospitals was selected to participate, using probability-proportional-to-size methods during 2002-2003. The data collected included information regarding each hospital's hepatitis B vaccination policies. Vaccination coverage levels were estimated from a systematic sample of 25 HCWs from each hospital whose medical records were reviewed for demographic and vaccination data. The main outcome measure was hepatitis B vaccination coverage levels.
Among at-risk HCWs, 75% had received 3 or more doses of the hepatitis B vaccine, corresponding to an estimated 2.5 million vaccinated hospital-based HCWs. The coverage level was 81% among staff physicians and nurses. Compared with nurses, coverage was significantly lower among phlebotomists (71.1%) and nurses' aides and/or other patient care staff (70.9%; P < .05). Hepatitis B vaccination coverage was highest among white HCWs (79.5%) and lowest among black HCWs (67.6%; P < .05). Compared with HCWs who worked in hospitals that required vaccination only of HCWs with identified risk for exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material, hepatitis B vaccination coverage was significantly lower among HCWs who worked in hospitals that required vaccination of HCWs without identified risk for exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material (76.6% vs 62.4%; P < .05).
In the United States, an estimated 75% of HCWs have been vaccinated against hepatitis B. Important differences in coverage levels exist among various demographic groups. Hospitals need to identify methods to improve hepatitis B vaccination coverage levels and should consider developing targeted vaccination programs directed at unvaccinated, at-risk HCWs who have frequent or potential exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material.
To determine the validity of an active, hospital laboratory isolate-based surveillance system in estimating rates of infection and to evaluate the use of surveillance data in describing institutional risk factors for increased rates of infection. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) was chosen as the prototype organism for these evaluations.
Correlation Study: linear regression analysis and Student's t test were used to evaluate the correlation between number of MRSA isolates and number of MRSA infections in acute-care hospitals. Cross-Sectional Study: Student's t test, analysis of variance, and multiple linear regression analysis were used to evaluate the association between mean annual rate of MRSA blood isolates and institutional risk factors for increased rates of infection.
Acute-care hospitals, New Jersey.
The number of MRSA blood isolates was significantly correlated with MRSA blood infections (R, 0.78; P<01) and provided a good proxy measure for number of infections. Multivariate analysis demonstrated hospital location in the inner city (P= .02) and number of occupied beds (P<.01) to be independently associated with increased mean annual rates of MRSA blood isolates in acute-care hospitals.
This surveillance system is a valid tool for the estimation of institutional rates of infection and for the determination of institutional risk factors for increased rates of infection. It is ideal for further population-based investigations of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria.
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