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We describe the frequency of pediatric healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) identified through prospective surveillance in community hospitals participating in an infection control network. Over a 6-year period, 84 HAIs were identified. Of these 51 (61%) were pediatric central-line–associated bloodstream infections, and they often occurred in children <1 year of age.
This SHEA white paper identifies knowledge gaps and challenges in healthcare epidemiology research related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with a focus on core principles of healthcare epidemiology. These gaps, revealed during the worst phases of the COVID-19 pandemic, are described in 10 sections: epidemiology, outbreak investigation, surveillance, isolation precaution practices, personal protective equipment (PPE), environmental contamination and disinfection, drug and supply shortages, antimicrobial stewardship, healthcare personnel (HCP) occupational safety, and return to work policies. Each section highlights three critical healthcare epidemiology research questions with detailed description provided in supplementary materials. This research agenda calls for translational studies from laboratory-based basic science research to well-designed, large-scale studies and health outcomes research. Research gaps and challenges related to nursing homes and social disparities are included. Collaborations across various disciplines, expertise and across diverse geographic locations will be critical.
Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) among cardiothoracic (CT) patients are associated with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Data are limited regarding SSI incidence among pediatric patients undergoing primary reparative procedures for congenital cardiac disease. Published evidence on targeted interventions to prevent pediatric CT-surgery SSI is lacking. We aimed to establish standard metrics for measuring CT-surgery SSI incidence and to implement bundled interventions for SSI prevention. Methods: A dedicated CT-surgery SSI prevention workgroup was established, consisting of hospital leadership, CT surgeons, cardiac critical care unit staff, anesthesia, perfusion, environmental services, instrument sterile processing, risk management, infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship. We created a standard definition for CT-surgery SSI and calculated retrospective SSI rates over a 24-month period (2017–2019). The outcome measured was incidence of CT-surgery SSI per 100 primary cardiac procedures with delayed ( 3 days after primary surgery) or non-delayed chest closure. The difference in proportion of SSI was reported separately for delayed closure and non-delayed closure; statistical significance was tested using a Fisher’s Exact test. We identified many potential improvement opportunities, including gaps in SSI surveillance, poor compliance with daily bathing, inconsistent perioperative antimicrobial prophylaxis, lack of controlled environment for bedside chest closures, and lapses in environmental cleaning. These issues informed the enhanced SSI prevention bundle, which included education on sterility with the operating room (OR) staff. Protocols for care of cardiac patients with delayed chest closures focused on universal daily and preoperative chlorhexidine baths. In addition, the bundle incorporated stringent environmental cleaning interventions including scheduled decluttering of patient rooms and clinical spaces, terminal cleaning of patient rooms prior to returning from the OR, and use of adjunctive ultraviolet light for the daily cleaning of operating rooms and patient rooms at discharge. Results: Surveillance definition of microbiological growth from a clinical sample obtained within 30 days of primary cardiac procedure sufficiently captured all CT-surgery SSIs. Of 551 CT-surgery procedures prior to intervention, 91 (17%) had delayed final operative closures. Prior to the intervention, 16 SSIs were identified from July 2017 – May 2019 for a rate of 2.90 per /100 procedures, and was higher among patients with delayed chest closure 6.59 per /100 procedures (6 SSIs/91 procedures) versus those with primary chest closure 2.17 per /100 procedures (10 SSIs/460 procedures; P = 0.034). Gram-positive organisms, including coagulase coagulase-negative Staphylococci, were most frequently identified as the causative organisms for SSIs. Compliance with bundled intervention, rolled out over a 2-month period, was associated with an immediate decrease in the number of SSIs for primary and delayed chest closures 6SSIs /185 procedures in the initial quarters (August – December 2019) of the post-intervention period. However, this decrease was not reflected in the overall rate (3.24 per /100 procedures) due to fewer procedures performed. Data collection to measure sustainability is ongoing. Conclusions: Bundled interventions targeting skin antisepsis and environmental cleaning may be associated with a decrease in SSIs among pediatric CT-surgery patients. Ongoing surveillance is required to determine sustainability of these interventions.
We implemented universal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing of patients undergoing surgical procedures as a means to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE). The rate of asymptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was <0.5%, which suggests that early local public health interventions were successful. Although our protocol was resource intensive, it prevented exposures to healthcare team members.
To examine neonatal risk factors associated with recurrent Staphylococcus aureus colonization and to determine the genetic relatedness of S. aureus strains cultured from neonates before and after decolonization.
Single-center retrospective cohort study of neonates admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from April 2013 to December 2015, during which weekly nasal cultures from hospitalized NICU patients were routinely obtained for S. aureus surveillance.
Johns Hopkins Hospital’s 45-bed level IV NICU in Baltimore, Maryland.
Demographics and clinical data were collected on all neonates admitted to the NICU with S. aureus nasal colonization who underwent mupirocin-based decolonization during the study period. A decolonized neonate was defined as a neonate with ≥1 negative culture after intranasal mupirocin treatment. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis was used for strain typing.
Of 2,060 infants screened for S. aureus, 271 (13%) were colonized, and 203 of these 271 (75%) received intranasal mupirocin. Of those treated, 162 (80%) had follow-up surveillance cultures, and 63 of these 162 infants (39%) developed recurrent colonization after treatment. The S. aureus strains were often genetically similar before and after decolonization. The presence of an endotracheal tube or nasal cannula/mask was associated with an increased risk of recurrent S. aureus colonization (hazard ratio [HR], 2.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.19–5.90; and HR, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.02–4.75, respectively).
Strains identified before and after decolonization were often genetically similar, and the presence of invasive respiratory devices increased the risk of recurrent S. aureus nasal colonization in neonates. To improve decolonization efficacy, alternative strategies may be needed.