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The “HygArzt” project investigated the effectiveness of hygiene measures introduced by an infection prevention link physician (PLP).
To investigate whether the introduction of a standardized aseptic dressing change concept (ADCC) by a PLP can increase hand hygiene adherence and adherence to specific process steps during an aseptic dressing change (ADC) in a trauma surgery and orthopedic department.
We defined 4 required hand disinfection indications: (1) before the preparation of ADC equipment, (2) immediately before the ADC, (3) before the clean phase, and (4) after the ADC. A process analysis of the preintervention phase (331 ADCs) was used to develop a standardized ADCC. The ADCC was introduced and iteratively adopted during the intervention phase. The effect was evaluated during the postintervention phase (374 ADCs).
Hand hygiene adherence was significantly increased by the introduction of the ADCC for all indications: (1) before the preparation of the ADC equipment (from 34% before to 85% after, P <.001), (2) immediately before an ADC (from 32% before to 85% after; P < .001), (3) before the clean phase (from 42% before to 96% after; P < .001), and (4) after an ADC (from 74% before to 99% after; P < .001). Overall hand hygiene adherence was analyzed before the indications for an ADC (from 9.6% before to 74% after; P < .001). The same strategy was applied to the following process parameters: use of a clean work surface, clean withdrawal of equipment from the dressing trolley, and appropriate waste disposal.
A PLP sufficiently implemented a standardized concept for aseptic dressing change during an iterative improvement process, which resulted in a significant improvement in hand hygiene and adherence to other specific ADCC process steps.
Rabies virus was inadvertently transmitted to a lung transplant recipient through donor lungs. The patient was given ventilatory assistance and cared for postoperatively for 6 weeks before a diagnosis of rabies virus infection was made. Postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) was offered to potentially exposed healthcare workers (HCWs).
Only HCWs classified as belonging to possible and/or proven contact groups (according to a standardized interview) received PEP. The risk of individual HCWs being exposed to rabies virus was reassessed on the basis of viral concentrations measured in the patient's excretions and body fluids. HCWs who were vaccinated as part of PEP were followed up prospectively according to a standardized procedure.
Of 179 HCWs and other patient contacts, 132 met the eligibility criteria for PEP (118 [89.4%] with possible contact and 14 [10.6%] with proven contact with the patient's excretions and/or body fluids). One hundred thirty-one individuals started PEP, and 126 met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Of these, 48 (38%) developed at least 1 adverse effect (8 [6.3%] had fever, 37 [29.4%] had headache, 3 [2.4%] had lymphadenopathy, 17 [13.5%] had dizziness, and 6 [4.8%] had paresthesia). No HCW or other patient contact developed rabies or serious PEP-related adverse effects. Reassessment of the individual's risk of infection as a function of the viral concentration in the patient's excretions and/or body fluids (up to 5.12 × 107 copies/mL) revealed that 103 HCWs (78.0%) had contact with high-risk substances (89 [67.40%] had possible contact and 14 [10.7%] had proven contact).
HCWs can be exposed to significant viral concentrations in excretions and/or body fluids from rabies virus-infected lung transplant recipients. Because widespread use of PEP entails the possibility of significant health problems for HCWs considered to be at risk of contracting rabies, applying a rational indication for PEP is crucial.
To study the dependence of infection risk and outbreak size on the type of index case (ie, patient or staff).
Nosocomial outbreaks were reviewed and categorized into those started by patients and those started by staff. Infection risks and outbreak sizes were evaluated taking into account the index case category.
Of the 30 nosocomial outbreaks of norovirus with person-to-person transmission, 20 (67%) involved patients as the index cases. Patient-indexed outbreaks affected significantly more patients than did staff-indexed outbreaks (difference in means, 16.25; 95% confidence interval [CI95], 5.1 to 27.0). For the numbers of affected staff, no dependence on the index case category was detectable (difference in means, -1.05; CI95, -9.0 to 6.9). For patients exposed during patient-indexed outbreaks, the risk of acquiring a norovirus infection was approximately 4.8 times as high as the corresponding risk for patients exposed during staff-indexed outbreaks (odds ratio [OR], 4.79; CI95,1.82 to 8.28). The infection risk for exposed staff during patient-indexed outbreaks was approximately 1.5 times as high as the corresponding risk during staff-indexed outbreaks (OR, 1.51; CI95, 0.92 to 2.49).
Patient-indexed norovirus outbreaks generally affect more patients than do staff-indexed outbreaks. Staff appear to be similarly affected by both outbreak index category groups. This study demonstrates the importance of obtaining complete outbreak data, including the index case classification as staff or patient, during norovirus outbreak investigations. Such information may be useful for further targeting prevention measures.
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