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To characterize residential social vulnerability among healthcare personnel (HCP) and evaluate its association with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection.
This study analyzed data collected in May–December 2020 through sentinel and population-based surveillance in healthcare facilities in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, and Oregon.
Data from 2,168 HCP (1,571 cases and 597 controls from the same facilities) were analyzed.
HCP residential addresses were linked to the social vulnerability index (SVI) at the census tract level, which represents a ranking of community vulnerability to emergencies based on 15 US Census variables. The primary outcome was SARS-CoV-2 infection, confirmed by positive antigen or real-time reverse-transcriptase– polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on nasopharyngeal swab. Significant differences by SVI in participant characteristics were assessed using the Fisher exact test. Adjusted odds ratios (aOR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for associations between case status and SVI, controlling for HCP role and patient care activities, were estimated using logistic regression.
Significantly higher proportions of certified nursing assistants (48.0%) and medical assistants (44.1%) resided in high SVI census tracts, compared to registered nurses (15.9%) and physicians (11.6%). HCP cases were more likely than controls to live in high SVI census tracts (aOR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.37–2.26).
These findings suggest that residing in more socially vulnerable census tracts may be associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection risk among HCP and that residential vulnerability differs by HCP role. Efforts to safeguard the US healthcare workforce and advance health equity should address the social determinants that drive racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic health disparities.
Using a mixed-methods approach, we assessed the effect of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic on antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) in Colorado hospitals. ASP leaders reported decreased time and resources, reduced rigor of stewardship interventions, inability to complete new initiatives, and interpersonal challenges. Stewardship activities may be threatened during times of acute resource pressure.
Background: Healthcare facilities have experienced many challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, including limited personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies. Healthcare personnel (HCP) rely on PPE, vaccines, and other infection control measures to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. We describe PPE concerns reported by HCP who had close contact with COVID-19 patients in the workplace and tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Method: The CDC collaborated with Emerging Infections Program (EIP) sites in 10 states to conduct surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 infections in HCP. EIP staff interviewed HCP with positive SARS-CoV-2 viral tests (ie, cases) to collect data on demographics, healthcare roles, exposures, PPE use, and concerns about their PPE use during COVID-19 patient care in the 14 days before the HCP’s SARS-CoV-2 positive test. PPE concerns were qualitatively coded as being related to supply (eg, low quality, shortages); use (eg, extended use, reuse, lack of fit test); or facility policy (eg, lack of guidance). We calculated and compared the percentages of cases reporting each concern type during the initial phase of the pandemic (April–May 2020), during the first US peak of daily COVID-19 cases (June–August 2020), and during the second US peak (September 2020–January 2021). We compared percentages using mid-P or Fisher exact tests (α = 0.05). Results: Among 1,998 HCP cases occurring during April 2020–January 2021 who had close contact with COVID-19 patients, 613 (30.7%) reported ≥1 PPE concern (Table 1). The percentage of cases reporting supply or use concerns was higher during the first peak period than the second peak period (supply concerns: 12.5% vs 7.5%; use concerns: 25.5% vs 18.2%; p Conclusions: Although lower percentages of HCP cases overall reported PPE concerns after the first US peak, our results highlight the importance of developing capacity to produce and distribute PPE during times of increased demand. The difference we observed among selected groups of cases may indicate that PPE access and use were more challenging for some, such as nonphysicians and nursing home HCP. These findings underscore the need to ensure that PPE is accessible and used correctly by HCP for whom use is recommended.
Background: Adherence to core elements of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) is increasing nationally but the robustness of programs and inclusion of pediatrics is poorly understood. We describe the details of ASP in Colorado hospitals and identify steps by which academic centers and public health departments can assist community ASPs. Methods: We invited ASP leaders at the 102 acute-care hospitals (ACHs) and critical-access hospitals (CAHs) in Colorado to participate in a web-based survey regarding their ASPs. Questions related to adherence to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) core elements, barriers to improvement, desired resources, and extension to pediatrics. Enrollment began in August 2020. Hospital types were compared using the Fisher exact test. Results: As of January 1, 2021, 31 hospitals (30% of targeted hospitals) completed the web-based survey including 19 ACH and 12 CAH. Hospitals were distributed across the state. Median number of beds was 52 (range, 11–680). Of the responding hospitals, 87% were adherent to all CDC core elements. However, if action was defined as prospective audit and feedback or prior authorization, tracking was defined as measuring antibiotic use in days of therapy (DOT) or defined daily dose (DDD) quarterly, and reporting was defined as providing unit- or provider-specific antibiotic use reports annually. Overall adherence fell to 35% including 81% for action, 58% for tracking, and 58% for reporting. CAHs were less likely to adhere to these strict criteria than ACHs (Figure 1). In the 27 hospitals (87% of hospitals) caring for pediatric patients, adherence to a strict action for at least 1 pediatric population was 59%. Reported barriers to improved ASP were available time and personnel, information technology support, perceived concerns about provider attitudes, and education gaps (Figure 2). CAHs were less likely to use the NHSN antibiotic use or resistance modules or have a data analyst than ACHs (Figure 3). Pediatric pharmacy expertise and guidelines were often not available in hospitals caring for pediatric patients. Desired ASP resources included assistance with data analysis, access to stewardship expertise and education, and treatment guidelines, including for pediatrics. Conclusions: Adherence to CDC core elements of an ASP was excellent but fell dramatically when stricter criteria were used and was worse in pediatric patients. Academic centers and public health departments can assist community hospitals by providing educational resources, assistance in analyzing data including using the NHSN ED: /AR modules, and ASP expertise and clinical care guidelines including those for pediatrics.
Healthcare personnel with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection were interviewed to describe activities and practices in and outside the workplace. Among 2,625 healthcare personnel, workplace-related factors that may increase infection risk were more common among nursing-home personnel than hospital personnel, whereas selected factors outside the workplace were more common among hospital personnel.
Background: In February 2019, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) identified a cluster of 3 invasive group A Streptococcus (GAS) infections in residents receiving wound care in a long-term care facility (LTCF). An investigation revealed a larger outbreak that extended to nonresidents receiving outpatient wound care at the LTCF. Methods: A case was defined as a positive culture for GAS emm type 82 from an individual with exposure to the LTCF between January and June 2019. Cases were categorized as clinical (symptoms of GAS disease or GAS isolated from a wound or sterile site) or carriage (no symptoms). Carriers were identified via samples collected from throat and skin lesions. Screening occurred in 2 rounds and included residents of affected units followed by screening of all wound-care staff and residents facility-wide. Available isolates were sent for emm type testing and whole-genome sequencing (WGS) at the CDC. CDPHE staff performed infection control observations. Results: We identified 14 cases: 8 clinical and 6 carriage (from 5 residents and 1 staff member). Two patients with invasive GAS died. Of 8 patients with clinical GAS, 6 resided in the facility on or 1 day prior to symptom onset; 2 were not residents but received outpatient therapy at the LTCF. All 8 patients with clinical GAS (100%) and 3 carriers had received wound care. The staff member with emm 82 carriage had provided wound care and occupational therapy to the affected residents and the 2 outpatients. Two additional cases were detected with onset dates following staff member decolonization. Moreover, 13 of the 14 emm 82 isolates were found to be identical by WGS. Infection control observations identified lapses in staff wound care and hand hygiene practices in the residential and outpatient settings of the facility. Conclusions: This investigation details a large GAS outbreak in an LTCF associated with asymptomatic carriage in residents and staff that included patients who had only received care in the outpatient portion of the facility. The outbreak was halted following decolonization of a staff member and improvements in infection control, including in the outpatient setting. Outpatient services, particularly wound care, provided by LTCFs should be considered when investigating LTCF-related GAS cases and outbreaks.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy is associated with progressive cardiorespiratory failure, including left ventricular dysfunction.
Methods and Results:
Males with probable or definite diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, diagnosed between 1 January, 1982 and 31 December, 2011, were identified from the Muscular Dystrophy Surveillance Tracking and Research Network database. Two non-mutually exclusive groups were created: patients with ≥2 echocardiograms and non-invasive positive pressure ventilation-compliant patients with ≥1 recorded ejection fraction. Quantitative left ventricular dysfunction was defined as an ejection fraction <55%. Qualitative dysfunction was defined as mild, moderate, or severe. Progression of quantitative left ventricular dysfunction was modelled as a continuous time-varying outcome. Change in qualitative left ventricle function was assessed by the percentage of patients within each category at each age. Forty-one percent (n = 403) had ≥2 ejection fractions containing 998 qualitative assessments with a mean age at first echo of 10.8 ± 4.6 years, with an average first ejection fraction of 63.1 ± 12.6%. Mean age at first echo with an ejection fraction <55 was 15.2 ± 3.9 years. Thirty-five percent (140/403) were non-invasive positive pressure ventilation-compliant and had ejection fraction information. The estimated rate of decline in ejection fraction from first ejection fraction was 1.6% per year and initiation of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation did not change this rate.
In our cohort, we observed that left ventricle function in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy declined over time, independent of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation use. Future studies are needed to examine the impact of respiratory support on cardiac function.