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To characterize bacterial infections and antibiotic utilization in hospitalized cancer patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Retrospective cohort study.
Tertiary cancer center in New York City.
Hospitalized cancer patients ≥18 years with COVID-19 between March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020.
Patients were classified with mild COVID-19 (ie, with room air), moderate COVID-19 (ie, using nasal cannula oxygen), or severe COVID-19 (ie, using high-flow oxygen or mechanical ventilation). The primary outcome was bacterial infection rate within 30 days of COVID-19 onset. Secondary outcomes included the proportion of patients receiving antibiotics and antibiotic length of therapy (LOT).
Of 358 study patients, 133 had mild COVID-19, 97 had moderate COVID-19, and 128 had severe COVID-19. Of 358 patients, 234 (65%) had a solid tumor. Also, 200 patients (56%) had 245 bacterial infections, of which 67 (27%) were microbiologically confirmed. The proportion of patients with bacterial infection increased with COVID-19 severity: mild (n = 47, 35%) versus moderate (n = 49, 51%) versus severe (n = 104, 81%) (P < .0001). Also, 274 (77%) received antibiotics for a median of 4 days. The median antibiotic LOTs were 7 days with 1 infection and 20 days with multiple infections (P < .0001). Antibiotic durations were 1 day for patients with mild COVID-19, 4 days for patients with moderate COVID-19, and 8 days for patients with severe COVID-19 (P < .0001).
Hospitalized cancer patients with COVID-19 had a high rate of bacterial infection. As COVID-19 severity increased, the proportion of patients diagnosed with bacterial infection and given antibiotics increased. In mild COVID-19 cases, antibiotic LOT was short, suggesting that empiric antibiotics can be safely avoided or discontinued in this group.
To assess preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB), we developed and evaluated a structured rating guide accounting for intrinsic patient and extrinsic healthcare-related risks.
HOB preventability rating guide was compared against a reference standard expert panel.
A 10-member panel of clinical experts was assembled as the standard of preventability assessment, and 2 physician reviewers applied the rating guide for comparison.
The expert panel independently rated 82 hypothetical HOB scenarios using a 6-point Likert scale collapsed into 3 categories: preventable, uncertain, or not preventable. Consensus was defined as concurrence on the same category among ≥70% experts. Scenarios without consensus were deliberated and followed by a second round of rating.
Two reviewers independently applied the rating guide to adjudicate the same 82 scenarios in 2 rounds, with interim revisions. Interrater reliability was evaluated using the κ (kappa) statistic.
Expert panel consensus criteria were met for 52 scenarios (63%) after 2 rounds.
After 2 rounds, guide-based rating matched expert panel consensus in 40 of 52 (77%) and 39 of 52 (75%) cases for reviewers 1 and 2, respectively. Agreement rates between the 2 reviewers were 84% overall (κ, 0.76; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.64–0.88]) and 87% (κ, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.65–0.94) for the 52 scenarios with expert consensus.
Preventability ratings of HOB scenarios by 2 reviewers using a rating guide matched expert consensus in most cases with moderately high interreviewer reliability. Although diversity of expert opinions and uncertainty of preventability merit further exploration, this is a step toward standardized assessment of HOB preventability.
To ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB) and perspectives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting quality of infection prevention and hospital care.
Hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network.
A web-based, multiple-choice survey was administered via the SHEA Research Network to 133 hospitals.
A total of 89 surveys were completed (67% response rate). Overall, 60% of respondents defined HOB as a positive blood culture on or after hospital day 3. Central line-associated bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections were perceived as the most frequent etiologies. Moreover, 61% thought that most HOB events are preventable, and 54% viewed HOB as a measure reflecting a hospital’s quality of care. Also, 29% of respondents’ hospitals already collect HOB data for internal purposes. Given a choice to publicly report central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and/or HOB, 57% favored reporting either HOB alone (22%) or in addition to CLABSI (35%) and 34% favored CLABSI alone.
Among the majority of SHEA Research Network respondents, HOB is perceived as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. Further studies on HOB are needed, including validation as a quality measure, assessment of risk adjustment, and formation of evidence-based bundles and toolkits to facilitate measurement and improvement of HOB rates.
To determine the effectiveness of ultraviolet (UV) environmental disinfection system on rates of hospital-acquired vancomycin-resistant enterococcus (VRE) and Clostridium difficile.
Using active surveillance and an interrupted time-series design, hospital-acquired acquisition of VRE and C. difficile on a bone marrow transplant (BMT) unit were examined before and after implementation of terminal disinfection with UV on all rooms regardless of isolation status of patients. The main outcomes were hospital-based acquisition measured through (1) active surveillance: admission, weekly, and discharge screening for VRE and toxigenic C. difficile (TCD) and (2) clinical surveillance: incidence of VRE and CDI on the unit.
Bone marrow transplant unit at a tertiary-care cancer center.
Stem cell transplant (SCT) recipients.
Terminal disinfection of all rooms with UV regardless of isolation status of patients.
During the 20-month study period, 579 patients had 704 admissions to the BMT unit, and 2,160 surveillance tests were performed. No change in level or trend in the incidence of VRE (trend incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.96; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.81–1.14; level IRR, 1.34; 95% CI, 0.37–1.18) or C. difficile (trend IRR, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.89–1.31; level IRR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.13–2.11) was observed after the intervention.
Utilization of UV disinfection to supplement routine terminal cleaning of rooms was not effective in reducing hospital-acquired VRE and C. difficile among SCT recipients.
Surveys are one of the most frequently employed study designs in healthcare epidemiology research. Generally easier to undertake and less costly than many other study designs, surveys can be invaluable to gain insights into opinions and practices in large samples and may be descriptive and/or be used to test associations. In this context, qualitative research methods may complement this study design either at the survey development phase and/or at the interpretation/extension of results stage. This methods article focuses on key considerations for designing and deploying surveys in healthcare epidemiology and antibiotic stewardship, including identification of whether or not de novo survey development is necessary, ways to optimally lay out and display a survey, denominator measurement, discussion of biases to keep in mind particularly in research using surveys, and the role of qualitative research methods to complement surveys. We review examples of surveys in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship and review the pros and cons of methods used. A checklist is provided to help aid design and deployment of surveys in healthcare epidemiology and antimicrobial stewardship.
To assess the extent of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) at solid organ transplant (SOT) and hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) centers in the United States.
An 18-item voluntary survey was developed to gauge current antimicrobial stewardship practices in transplant patients, examine the availability and perceived usefulness of novel diagnostics and azole levels to guide therapy, and identify challenges for implementation of ASPs at these centers.
The survey was distributed electronically to infectious disease physicians and pharmacists at adult and pediatric SOT and HCT centers during May 1–22, 2015. Facilities were deidentified.
After duplicate removal, 71 (56%) of 127 unique transplant centers in 32 states were analyzed. Forty-four sites (62%) performed at least 100 SOT annually, and 40 (56%) performed at least 100 HCT annually. Top 5 stewardship activities encompassing transplant patients were formulary restriction, guideline development, prospective audit and feedback, education, and dose optimization. Respiratory viral panels (66/66 [100%]), azole levels (64/66 [97%]), and serum/bronchoalveolar lavage galactomannan (58/66 [88%]) were perceived as most useful to guide therapy. Apparent challenges to antimicrobial stewardship included undefined duration for certain infections (53/59 [90%]), diagnostic uncertainty (47/59 [80%]), the perception that antibiotic-resistant infections required escalation (42/59 [71%]), prescriber opposition (41/59 [69%]), and costly drugs (37/59 [63%]).
ASP activities were performed at many adult and pediatric SOT and HCT centers in the United States. Diagnostic and therapeutic uncertainty in transplant patients is challenging for ASPs. Collaborative research should examine the impact of antimicrobial stewardship practices in SOT and HCT.
To evaluate the impact of postprescription review of broad-spectrum antimicrobial (study-ABX) agents on rates of antimicrobial use.
Quasi-experimental before-after study.
Five academic medical centers.
Adults receiving at least 48 hours of study-ABX.
The baseline, intervention, and follow-up periods were 6 months each in 2 units at each of 5 sites. Adults receiving at least 48 hours of study-ABX entered the cohort as case-patients. During the intervention, infectious-diseases physicians reviewed the cases after 48 hours of study-ABX. The provider was contacted with alternative recommendations if antimicrobial use was considered to be unjustified on the basis of predetermined criteria. Acceptance rates were assessed 48 hours later. The primary outcome measure was days of study-ABX per 1,000 study-patient-days in the baseline and intervention periods.
There were 1,265 patients in the baseline period and 1,163 patients in the intervention period. Study-ABX use decreased significantly during the intervention period at 2 sites: from 574.4 to 533.8 study-ABX days/1,000 patient-days (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 0.93; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.88-0.97; P = .002) at hospital В and from 615.6 to 514.4 study-ABX days/1,000 patient-days (IRR, 0.83; 95% CI, 0.79-0.88; P < .001) at hospital D. Both had established antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASP). Study-ABX use increased at 2 sites and stayed the same at 1 site. At all institutions combined, 390 of 1,429 (27.3%) study-ABX courses were assessed as unjustified; recommendations to modify or stop therapy were accepted for 260 (66.7%) of these courses.
Postprescription review of study-ABX decreased antimicrobial utilization in some of the study hospitals and may be more effective when performed as part of an established ASP.
Recent surveillance from US hospitals shows that more than 99.5% of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) isolates remain susceptible to daptomycin. This report describes emergence of daptomycin-resistant VRE at a major cancer center. The percentage of patients with daptomycin-resistant VRE bacteremia increased from 3.4% in 2007 to 15.2% in 2009 (P = .03). Without susceptibility data, empiric daptomycin therapy for VRE infections should be used with caution.
Fever is a common clinical problem in hospitalized patients. Although the development of fever in a hospitalized patient may be the clinical expression of a community-acquired infection that has completed its incubation period, this chapter focuses on the possible causes of new-onset fever occurring after hospital admission. The reader, however, should keep other diagnoses in mind and inquire about the patient's history of travel, pet and animal exposure, hobbies, sexual activity, dietary preferences and exposures, occupational exposures, recent immunizations, drug (including corticosteroids) and herbal ingestion within the past month, recent exposure to febrile or ill individuals, and other epidemiologic factors such as season of the year.
Hospital-acquired fever may be due to an infectious and/or noninfectious cause, either happening alone or concurrently. An etiology can be identified after appropriate work-up in 72% to 88% of patients. It is not uncommon for length-of-stay and resource utilization to be increased due to the management of the febrile episode.
Not surprisingly, nosocomial infections account for 70% to 75% of causes of fever in hospitalized patients and include bloodstream infections, lower respiratory tract infections, surgical site infections, and urinary tract infections (Table 103.1). Noninfectious causes comprise 25% to 30%. These are usually related to some form of vascular disruption (eg, myocardial infarction, pulmonary embolism), inflammatory (eg, gout) or collagen vascular disease (eg, lupus), endocrine disorder (eg, adrenal insufficiency), malignancy, or drug (Table 103.2).
Despite the 1989 Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommendation of a second dose of vaccine, measles seropositivity rates had declined for adult healthcare workers in their 20s hired at a cancer hospital between 1998 and 1999 compared with those of the same age hired between 1983 and 1988. Continued monitoring will be important as individuals born after 1989 enter the workforce.
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