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We conducted an intervention study to assess the impact of the use of an alcohol-chlorhexidine-based hand sanitizer on surgical site infection (SSI) rates among neurosurgical patients in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
A quasi-experimental study with an untreated control group and assessment of neurosurgical patients admitted to 2 neurosurgical wards at Cho Ray Hospital between July 11 and August 15, 2000 (before the intervention), and July 14 and August 18, 2001 (after the intervention). A hand sanitizer with 70% isopropyl alcohol and 0.5% Chlorhexidine gluconate was introduced, and healthcare workers were trained in its use on ward A in September 2000. No intervention was made in ward B. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention definitions of SSI were used. Patient SSI data were collected on standardized forms and were analyzed using Stata software (Stata).
A total of 786 patients were enrolled: 377 in the period before intervention (156 in ward A and 221 in ward B) and 409 in the period after intervention (159 in ward A and 250 in ward B). On ward A after the intervention, the SSI rate was reduced by 54% (from 8.3% to 3.8%; P = .09), and more than half of superficial SSIs were eliminated (7 of 13 vs 0 of 6 in ward B; P = .007). On ward B, the SSI rate increased by 22% (from 7.2% to 9.2%; P = .8). In patients without SSI, the median postoperative length of stay and the duration of antimicrobial use were reduced on ward A (both from 8 to 6 days; P <.001) but not on ward B.
Our study demonstrates that introduction of a hand sanitizer can both reduce SSI rates in neurosurgical patients, with particular impact on superficial SSIs, and reduce the overall postoperative length of stay and the duration of antimicrobial use. Hand hygiene programs in developing countries are likely to reduce SSI rates and improve patient outcomes.
To determine the pathogens associated with surgical site infections (SSIs) and describe patterns of antimicrobial use and resistance in orthopedic and neurosurgical patients in a large university hospital in Vietnam.
Prospective cohort study.
Cho Ray Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
All patients who had operations during a 5-week study period.
Of 702 surgical patients, 80 (11.4%) developed an SSI. The incidence of SSI among orthopedic patients was 15.2% (48 of 315), and among neurosurgical patients it was 8.3% (32 of 387). Postoperative bacterial cultures of samples from the surgical sites were performed for 55 (68.8%) of the 80 patients with SSI; 68 wound swab specimens and 10 cerebrospinal fluid samples were cultured. Of these 78 cultures, 60 (76.9%) were positive for a pathogen, and 15 (25%) of those 60 cultures yielded multiple pathogens. The 3 most frequently isolated pathogens were Pseudomonas aeruginosa (29.5% of isolates), Staphylococcus aureus (11.5% of isolates), and Escherichia coli (10.3% of isolates). Ninety percent of S. aureus isolates were methicillin resistant, 91% of P. aeruginosa isolates were ceftazidime resistant, and 38% of E. coli isolates were cefotaxime resistant. All but 1 of the 702 patients received antimicrobial therapy after surgery, and the median duration of antimicrobial therapy was 11 days. Commonly used antimicrobials included aminopenicillins and second- and third-generation cephalosporins. Two or, more agents were given to 634 (90%) of the patients, and most combination drug regimens (86%) included an aminoglycoside.
Our data indicate that the incidence of SSI is high in our study population, that the main pathogens causing SSI are gram-negative bacteria and are often resistant to commonly used antimicrobials, that the use of broad-spectrum antimicrobials after surgery is widespread, and that implementation of interventions aimed at promoting appropriate and evidence-based use of antimicrobials are needed in Vietnam.
Few studies have been conducted in Vietnam on the epidemiology of healthcare-associated infections or antimicrobial use. Thus, we sought to determine the prevalence of and risk factors for surgical-site infections (SSIs) and to document antimicrobial use in surgical patients in a large healthcare facility in Vietnam.
We conducted a point-prevalence survey of SSIs and antimicrobial use at Cho Ray Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, a 1,250-bed inpatient facility. All patients on the 11 surgical wards and 2 intensive care units who had surgery within 30 days before the survey date were included.
Of 391 surgical patients, 56 (14.3%) had an SSI. When we compared patients with and without SSIs, factors associated with infection included trauma (relative risk [RR], 2.65; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 1.60 to 4.37; P < .001), emergency surgery (RR, 2.74; CI95, 1.65 to 4.55; P < .001), and dirty wounds (RR, 3.77; CI95, 2.39 to 5.96; P < .001). Overall, 198 (51%) of the patients received antimicrobials more than 8 hours before surgery and 390 (99.7%) received them after surgery. Commonly used antimicrobials included third-generation cephalosporins and aminoglycosides. Thirty isolates were identified from 26 SSI patient cultures; of the 25 isolates undergoing antimicrobial susceptibility testing, 22 (88%) were resistant to ceftriaxone and 24 (92%) to gentamicin.
Our data show that (1) SSIs are prevalent at Cho Ray Hospital; (2) antimicrobial use among surgical patients is widespread and inconsistent with published guidelines; and (3) pathogens often are resistant to commonly used antimicrobials. SSI prevention interventions, including appropriate use of antimicrobials, are needed in this population.
As infection control evolved into an art and science through the years, many infection control practices have become infection control dogmas (principles, beliefs, ideas, or opinions). In this “Reality Check” session of the 4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections, we assessed participants' perceptions of prevalent infection control dogmas. The majority of participants agreed with all dogmas having evidence of efficacy, except for the dogma on the frequency of changing mechanical-ventilator tubing. In contrast, the majority of participants disagreed with dogmas not having evidence of efficacy, except for the dogma on perineal care, umbilical cord care, and reminder signs for isolation precaution. As for controversial dogmas, many of the responses were almost evenly distributed between “agree” and “disagree.” Infection control professionals were knowledgeable about evidence-based infection control practices. However, many of the respondents still believe in some of the non–evidence-based dogmas.
The use of intravascular catheters is associated with increased risk of bloodstream infections, principally caused by coagulase-negative staphylococci. This “Reality Check” session, held at die 4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections, focused on the question of whether, and in what manner, vancomycin should be used for the prophylaxis of these infections.
Antimicrobial resistance, including vancomycin resistance in enterococci (VRE), is a growing problem in healthcare facilities. This “Reality Check” session focused on the question of whether we should try to detect and isolate patients colonized or infected with VRE.
Unlike hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus, there currently are no immunization or chemoprophylactic interventions available to prevent infection after an occupational exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV). A “Reality Check” session was held at the 4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections to gather information on current practices related to management of occupational exposures to HCV, generate discussion on controversial issues, and identify areas for future research. Infection control professionals in attendance were knowledgeable in most issues addressed regarding the management of occupational exposures to HCV. Areas of controversy included the use of antiviral therapy early in the course of HCV infection and the appropriate administrative management of an HCV-infected healthcare worker.
The infectious diseases community shares a wide consensus about the need for control of antimicrobial use. However, current practices toward this goal remain controversial. This “Reality Check” session assessed attendees of the 4th Decennial Conference regarding their knowledge and practices about control of antimicrobial use in hospitals.
Routine use of mupirocin to prevent staphylococcal infections is controversial. We assessed attitudes and practices of healthcare professionals attending the Fourth Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections regarding mupirocin prophylaxis. Eighty percent of participants did not use mupirocin routinely. At the end of the session, 58% indicated they would consider increased use of mupirocin.
The 4th Decennial International Conference on Nosocomial and Healthcare-Associated Infections provided a unique forum to assess opinions regarding current infection control controversies. The “Reality Check” sessions were a special portion of the conference where attendees expressed their opinions on these issues and heard varying viewpoints from noted experts. Using an Audience Response System (ARS), individual audience members cast their votes during seven different sessions. Although systems such as the ARS have been used during other conferences, there are no published accounts to date describing audience viewpoints on infection control topics. An overview of the “Reality Check” sessions follows.
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