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Healthcare-associated bloodstream infections (HABSIs) are a significant cause of mortality and morbidity in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) population. Our objectives were to review the epidemiology of HABSIs in our NICU and to examine the applicability of National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) definitions to the NICU population.
We performed a retrospective review of all neonates admitted to the 54-bed, level IV NICU at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital with a HABSI between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2018. Clinical definitions per NICU team and NHSN site-specific definitions used for source identification were compared using the McNemar χ2 test.
We identified 86 HABSIs with an incidence rate of 0.80 per 1,000 patient days. Only 13% of these were CLABSIs. Both CLABSIs and non–catheter-related bloodstream infections occurred primarily in preterm neonates, but the latter were associated with a significantly higher incidence of comorbidities and the need for respiratory support. The NHSN definitions were less likely to identify a source compared to the clinical definitions agreed upon by our NICU treating team (P < .001). Furthermore, 50% of patients without an identified source of infection by NHSN definitions were bacteremic with a mucosal barrier injury organism, likely from gut translocation.
HABSIs occur primarily in premature infants with comorbidities, and CLABSIs account for a small proportion of these infections. With the increasing focus on HABSI prevention, there is a need for better NHSN site-specific definitions for the NICU population to prevent misclassification and direct prevention efforts.
A 54-bed, level IV NICU in a regional academic and tertiary referral center.
PATIENTS AND PARTICIPANTS
All neonates prescribed antimicrobials from January 1, 2011, to June 30, 2016, were eligible for inclusion.
Implementation of a NICU-specific ASP beginning July 2012.
We convened a multidisciplinary team and developed guidelines for common infections, with a focus on prescriber audit and feedback. We conducted an interrupted time-series analysis to evaluate the effects of our ASP. Our primary outcome measure was days of antibiotic therapy (DOT) per 1,000 patient days for all and for select antimicrobials. Secondary outcomes included provider-specific antimicrobial prescription events for suspected late-onset sepsis (blood or cerebrospinal fluid infection at >72 hours of life) and guideline compliance.
Antibiotic utilization decreased by 14.7 DOT per 1,000 patient days during the stewardship period, although this decrease was not statistically significant (P=.669). Use of ampicillin, the most commonly antimicrobial prescribed in our NICU, decreased significantly, declining by 22.5 DOT per 1,000 patient days (P=.037). Late-onset sepsis evaluation and prescription events per 100 NICU days of clinical service decreased significantly (P<.0001), with an average reduction of 2.65 evaluations per year per provider. Clinical guidelines were adhered to 98.75% of the time.
Implementation of a NICU-specific antimicrobial stewardship program is feasible and can improve antibiotic prescribing practices.
To reduce the rate of late-onset sepsis in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) by decreasing the rate of central line–associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI).
We conducted a quasi-experimental study of an educational intervention designed to improve the quality of clinical practice in an NICU. Participants included all NICU patients with a central venous catheter (CVC). Data were collected during the period from July 1, 2005, to June 30, 2007, to document existing CLABSI rates and CVC-related practices. A multidisciplinary quality improvement committee was established to review these and published data and to create guidelines for CVC placement and management. Educational efforts were conducted to implement these practices. Postintervention CLABSI rates were collected during the period from January 1, 2008, through March 31, 2009, and compared with preintervention data and with benchmark data from the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
The rate of CLABSI in the NICU decreased from 8.40 to 1.28 cases per 1,000 central line–days (adjusted rate ratio, 0.19 [95% confidence interval, 0.08–0.45]). This rate was lower than the NHSN benchmark rate for level III NICUs. The overall rate of late-onset sepsis was reduced from 5.84 to 1.42 cases per 1,000 patient-days (rate difference, −4.42 cases per 1,000 patient-days [95% confidence interval, −5.55 to −3.30 cases per 1,000 patient-days]).
It is possible to reduce the rate of CLABSI, and therefore the rate of late-onset sepsis, by establishing and adhering to evidence-based guidelines. Sustainability depends on continued data surveillance, knowledge of medical and nursing literature, and timely feedback to the staff. The techniques established are applicable to other populations and areas of inpatient care.
To compare and contrast the epidemiology of polymicrobial and monomicrobial bloodstream infections (BSIs) in newborn intensive care unit (NICU) patients.
Retrospective, matched case-control study.
The Yale-New Haven Hospital NICU from 1989 through 2006.
NICU patients with BSIs.
Each neonate with polymicrobial BSI (case patient) was matched to one neonate with monomicrobial BSI (control patient), by birth date, weight, and sex; and univariate and multivariate analyses were performed.
One hundred five cases of polymicrobial BSI were identified in 102 infants, representing 10% of all neonatal BSIs in our institution. Coagulase-negative staphylococci were the most common organisms recovered from culture. Infants with polymicrobial BSI had later onset of infection than infants with monomicrobial BSI (mean day of life, 37.5 vs 24.0; P< .001). Polymicrobial BSI occurred more frequently among infants with a severe underlying condition than in those without such a condition (odds ratio [OR], 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-3.2) and among infants requiring an indwelling central venous catheter for a prolonged duration (mean, 16.9 days, compared with 9.8 days for infants with monomicrobial BSI; P = .001). Multivariate analysis revealed that later onset of infection (adjusted OR [aOR], 1.02; 95% CI, 1.00-1.04) and presence of a severe underlying condition (aOR, 1.91; 95% CI, 1.12-3.38) were independent risk factors for polymicrobial BSI. No differences in outcome or mortality were observed.
Changes in the microbiology and epidemiology of NICU-related polymicrobial BSI have occurred since the last North American review. In the present study, although differences were observed, most risk factors and outcomes were similar between monomicrobial BSI and polymicrobial BSI. Epidemiologic surveillance is critical to identify trends associated with neonatal polymicrobial BSI, particularly those that may impact preventative strategies, diagnostic measures, and therapeutic interventions.
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