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This white paper provides clinicians and hospital leaders with practical guidance on the prevention and control of viral respiratory infections in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). This document serves as a companion to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC)’s “Prophylaxis and Screening for Prevention of Viral Respiratory Infections in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Patients: A Systematic Review.” It provides practical, expert opinion and/or evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about viral respiratory detection and prevention in the NICU. It was developed by a writing panel of pediatric and pathogen-specific experts who collaborated with members of the HICPAC systematic review writing panel and the SHEA Pediatric Leadership Council to identify questions that should be addressed. The document has been endorsed by SHEA, the American Hospital Association (AHA), The Joint Commission, the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS), the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN).
We investigated whether and how infection prevention programs monitor for health disparities as part of healthcare-associated infection (HAI) surveillance through a survey of healthcare epidemiology leaders. Most facilities are not assessing for disparities in HAI rates. Professional society and national guidance should focus on addressing this gap.
To determine risk factors for Clostridioides difficile colonization and C. difficile infection (CDI) among patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU).
Retrospective observational cohort study.
All adult patients admitted to an ICU from July 1, 2015, to November 6, 2019, who were tested for C. difficile colonization. Patients with CDI were excluded.
Information was collected on patient demographics, comorbidities, laboratory results, and prescriptions. We defined C. difficile colonization as a positive nucleic acid amplification test for C. difficile up to 48 hours before or 24 hours after intensive care unit (ICU) admission without evidence of active infection. We defined active infection as the receipt of an antibiotic whose only indication is the treatment of CDI. The primary outcome measure was the development of CDI up to 30 days after ICU admission. Logistic regression was used to model associations between clinical variables and the development of CDI.
The overall C. difficile colonization rate was 4% and the overall CDI rate was 2%. Risk factors for the development of CDI included C. difficile colonization (aOR, 13.3; 95% CI, 8.3–21.3; P < .0001), increased ICU length of stay (aOR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03–1.05; P < .0001), and a history of inflammatory bowel disease (aOR, 3.8; 95% CI, 1.3–11.1; P = .02). Receipt of any antibiotic during the ICU stay was associated with a borderline increased odds of CDI (aOR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.0–3.4; P = .05).
C. difficile colonization is associated with the development of CDI among ICU patients.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has required healthcare systems to meet new demands for rapid information dissemination, resource allocation, and data reporting. To help address these challenges, our institution leveraged electronic health record (EHR)–integrated clinical pathways (E-ICPs), which are easily understood care algorithms accessible at the point of care.
To describe our institution’s creation of E-ICPs to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and to assess the use and impact of these tools.
Urban academic medical center with adult and pediatric hospitals, emergency departments, and ambulatory practices.
Using the E-ICP processes and infrastructure established at our institution as a foundation, we developed a suite of COVID-19–specific E-ICPs along with a process for frequent reassessment and updating. We examined the development and use of our COVID-19–specific pathways for a 6-month period (March 1–September 1, 2020), and we have described their impact using case studies.
In total, 45 COVID-19–specific pathways were developed, pertaining to triage, diagnosis, and management of COVID-19 in diverse patient settings. Orders available in E-ICPs included those for isolation precautions, testing, treatments, admissions, and transfers. Pathways were accessed 86,400 times, with 99,081 individual orders were placed. Case studies demonstrate the impact of COVID-19 E-ICPs on stewardship of resources, testing optimization, and data reporting.
E-ICPs provide a flexible and unified mechanism to meet the evolving demands of the COVID-19 pandemic, and they continue to be a critical tool leveraged by clinicians and hospital administrators alike for the management of COVID-19. Lessons learned may be generalizable to other urgent and nonurgent clinical conditions.
We evaluated the impact of the Epic antimicrobial stewardship module (EAM) on the number of interventions, antimicrobial usage, and clinical outcomes. Use of the EAM allowed us to significantly increase the number of ASP antimicrobial reviews and interventions while maintaining a sustained impact on antimicrobial utilization.
Many microbial pathogens subvert proteoglycans for their adhesion to host tissues, invasion of host cells, infection of neighbouring cells, dissemination into the systemic circulation, and evasion of host defence mechanisms. Where studied, specific virulence factors mediate these proteoglycan–pathogen interactions, which are thus thought to affect the onset, progression and outcome of infection. Proteoglycans are composites of glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains attached covalently to specific core proteins. Proteoglycans are expressed ubiquitously on the cell surface, in intracellular compartments, and in the extracellular matrix. GAGs mediate the majority of ligand-binding activities of proteoglycans, and many microbial pathogens elaborate cell-surface and secreted factors that interact with GAGs. Some pathogens also modulate the expression and function of proteoglycans through known virulence factors. Several GAG-binding pathogens can no longer attach to and invade host cells whose GAG expression has been reduced by mutagenesis or enzymatic treatment. Furthermore, GAG antagonists have been shown to inhibit microbial attachment and host cell entry in vitro and reduce virulence in vivo. Together, these observations underscore the biological significance of proteoglycan–pathogen interactions in infectious diseases.
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