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For many years, patient-area wastewater drains (ie, sink and shower drains) have been considered a potential source of bacterial pathogens that can be transmitted to patients. Recently, evolving genomic epidemiology tools combined with new insights into the ecology of wastewater drain (WWD) biofilm have provided new perspectives on the clinical relevance and hospital-associated infection (HAI) transmission risks related to these fixtures. To further clarify the clinical relevance of WWD-associated pathogen transmission, reports of outbreaks attributed to WWDs were selected for review that (1) investigated the outbreak epidemiology of WWD-associated transmission of bacterial pathogens, (2) utilized advanced microbiologic methods to establish clonality of outbreak pathogens and/or resistance genes, or (3) described interventions implemented to mitigate transmission of the outbreak pathogens from WWDs. These reports were collated, compared, and analyzed, and the results are presented here.
Intra-amniotic infection and inflammation is a frequent and important cause of spontaneous preterm labor and delivery. Indeed, it is the only pathologic process for which both a causal link with spontaneous preterm birth has been established and a molecular pathophysiology defined. Fetal infection/inflammation has been implicated in the genesis of fetal and neonatal injury leading to cerebral palsy (CP) and chronic lung disease. Pathologic intra-amniotic inflammation can occur in the absence of detectable microorganisms using cultivation and molecular microbiologic techniques. This condition is known as sterile intra-amniotic inflammation and has been observed in patients with preterm labor and intact membranes, preterm PROM, and a short cervix. A mild sterile inflammatory process also participates in spontaneous labor at term, but this is considered to be an example of physiologic inflammation similar to that implicated in other important events in reproductive physiology, such as ovulation and implantation. Sterile pathologic inflammation has been implicated in gout, in which the danger signals are urate crystals and atherosclerosis. Thus, pathologic sterile inflammation is an important mechanism of disease.
Modern antenatal care aims to optimize both maternal and fetal outcomes. The various methods of prenatal fetal surveillance are directed towards early detection and, sometimes, prevention of chronic fetal hypoxia. The fetal response to acute or chronic hypoxia varies and is modified by the preceding fetal condition. Prenatal fetal surveillance tools are useful in pregnancies that are at high risk of developing chronic fetal hypoxia, but less so for acute events (e.g., placental abruption). There is evidence that fetal surveillance in unselected low-risk population is not cost-effective and leads to unnecessary interventions. Therefore routine prenatal fetal surveillance techniques or tests are not universally adopted in this group.
Postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) is the leading direct cause of maternal death in both industrialized and nonindustrialized nations, second only to preexisting conditions and indirect causes of maternal death.
“Normal” has different meanings. In the context of physical or laboratory measurements, “normal” may mean “average,” “disease-free,” or “within a given statistical range.” However, it is important to know the characteristics of the population yielding “normal” values before deciding whether these values provide an appropriate reference range with which to compare an individual test result. Many laboratories now print reference ranges on their reports and highlight test values that fall outside these values as “abnormal.” When the test subject is a pregnant woman, a fetus, or a newborn, and the reference population is composed predominantly of middle-aged men, then comparisons are patently inappropriate. It is important to understand how the physiologic changes of pregnancy affect the results of various tests and measurements before deciding whether an out-of-range result is actually abnormal.
Complications arise more frequently during the first trimester than at any other stage of pregnancy. Most present with bleeding, pain, or both. Vaginal bleeding occurs in about 20% of clinically diagnosed pregnancies. It causes considerable anxiety for the woman and her partner. In the vast majority of cases, no intervention alters the outcome. The main aim of clinical management is a prompt and accurate diagnosis, with reassurance if the pregnancy is appropriately developed and viable, or appropriate intervention if not. This chapter focuses on the principles of diagnosis and management and three principal diagnoses: miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, and gestational trophoblastic disease. The other differential diagnoses are shown in Table 5.1.
Imagine asking yourself the question, “How would I describe a typical pregnant woman who uses drugs?” You might reply that she comes from a different social class, cannot think beyond the pregnancy, uses jargon, and doesn’t listen or care about the welfare of the child. However, my experience when asking drug-using women what they thought about the typical obstetrician is that they say the doctor was from a different social class, could not think beyond the pregnancy, used jargon, and didn’t listen or care about the welfare of the child.
This online resource answers the key questions that any clinician encounters with a high-risk pregnancy: what are the risks for the woman and/or the baby with this condition? How do I manage a pregnancy complicated by this condition? How do I perform this procedure (e.g. amniocentesis, cesarean section)? All the chapters are newly written or updated to reflect current, evidence-based management and changes in practice. The 'Normal Values' section, a hugely popular reference source, is included. Over half of the chapters have new authors. New chapters have also been added to keep the content up to date with modern developments. This comprehensive online resource provides links to key websites (e.g. National Clinical Guidelines), video recordings - especially of procedures - and additional images and all content will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary.
A diverse group of hospitals in Iowa implemented a program to objectively evaluate and improve the thoroughness of disinfection cleaning of near-patient surfaces. Administrative benefits of, challenges of, and impediments to the program were also evaluated.
We conducted a prospective, quasi-experimental pre-/postintervention trial to improve the thoroughness of terminal room disinfection cleaning. Infection preventionists utilized an objective cleaning performance monitoring system (DAZO) to evaluate the thoroughness of disinfection cleaning (TDC) expressed as a proportion of objects confirmed to have been cleaned (numerator) to objects to be cleaned per hospital policy (denominator)×100. Data analysis, educational interventions, and objective performance feedback were modeled on previously published studies using the same monitoring tool. Programmatic analysis utilized unstructured and structured information from participants irrespective of whether they participated in the process improvement aspects to the program.
Initially, the overall TDC was 61% in 56 hospitals. Hospitals completing 1 or 2 feedback cycles improved their TDC percentages significantly (P<.0001; P<.005). Overall, 22 hospitals (39.3%) completed all 3 study phases and significantly increased their TDC percentages to a mean of 89%. Moreover, 6 hospitals maintained the program beyond the planned study period and sustained TDC percentages >90% for at least 38 months. A survey of infection preventionists found that lack of time and staff turnover were the most common reasons for terminating the study early.
The study confirmed that hospitals using this program can improve their TDC percentages significantly. Hospitals must invest resources to improve cleaning and to sustain their gains.
To determine the impact of an environmental disinfection intervention on the incidence of healthcare-associated Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).
A multicenter randomized trial.
In total,16 acute-care hospitals in northeastern Ohio participated in the study.
We conducted a 12-month randomized trial to compare standard cleaning to enhanced cleaning that included monitoring of environmental services (EVS) personnel performance with feedback to EVS and infection control staff. We assessed the thoroughness of cleaning based on fluorescent marker removal from high-touch surfaces and the effectiveness of disinfection based on environmental cultures for C. difficile. A linear mixed model was used to compare CDI rates in the intervention and postintervention periods for control and intervention hospitals. The primary outcome was the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
Overall, 7 intervention hospitals and 8 control hospitals completed the study. The intervention resulted in significantly increased fluorescent marker removal in CDI and non-CDI rooms and decreased recovery of C. difficile from high-touch surfaces in CDI rooms. However, no reduction was observed in the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI in the intervention hospitals during the intervention and postintervention periods. Moreover, there was no correlation between the percentage of positive cultures after cleaning of CDI or non-CDI rooms and the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI.
An environmental disinfection intervention improved the thoroughness and effectiveness of cleaning but did not reduce the incidence of healthcare-associated CDI. Thus, interventions that focus only on improving cleaning may not be sufficient to control healthcare-associated CDI.
Hospital environments influence healthcare-associated infection (HAI) patterns, but the role of evidenced-based design (EBD) and residual bacterial DNA (previously thought to be clinically inert) remain incompletely understood.
In a newly built EBD hospital, we used culture-based and culture-free (molecular) assays, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) to determine: (1) patterns of environmental contamination with target organisms (TOs) and multidrug-resistant (MDR) target organisms (MDR-TOs); (2) genetic relatedness between environmentally isolated MDR-TO and those from HAIs; and (3) correlation between surface contamination and HAIs.
A total of 1,273 high-touch surfaces were swabbed before and after terminal cleaning during 77 room visits. Of the 2,546 paired swabs, 47% had cultivable biomaterial and 42% had PCR-amplifiable DNA. The ratios of TOs detected to surfaces assayed were 85 per 1,273 for the culture-based method and 106 per 1,273 for the PCR-based method. Sinks, toilet rails, and bedside tables most frequently harbored biomaterial. Although cleaned surfaces were less likely to have cultivable TOs than precleaned surfaces, they were not less likely to harbor bacterial DNA. The rate of MDR-TOs to surfaces swabbed was 0.1% (3/2546). Although environmental MDR-TOs and MDR-TOs from HAIs were genetically related by PFGE, WGS revealed that they were unrelated. Environmental levels of cultivable Enterococcus spp. and E. coli DNA were positively correlated with infection incidences (P<.04 and P<.005, respectively).
MDR-TOs were rarely detected during surveillance and were not implicated in HAIs. The roles of environmental DNA and EBD, particularly with respect to water-associated fixtures or the potential suppression of cultivable environmental MDR-TOs, warrant multicenter investigations.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;36(10):1130–1138