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Infection prevention program leaders report frequent use of criteria to distinguish recently recovered coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases from actively infectious cases when incidentally positive asymptomatic patients were identified on routine severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. Guidance on appropriate interpretation of high-sensitivity molecular tests can prevent harm from unnecessary precautions that delay admission and impede medical care.
To examine the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection on CLABSI rate and characterize the patients who developed a CLABSI. We also examined the impact of a CLABSI-reduction quality-improvement project in patients with and without COVID-19.
Retrospective cohort analysis.
Academic 889-bed tertiary-care teaching hospital in urban Los Angeles.
Patients or participants:
Inpatients 18 years and older with CLABSI as defined by the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN).
CLABSI rate and patient characteristics were analyzed for 2 cohorts during the pandemic era (March 2020–August 2021): COVID-19 CLABSI patients and non–COVID-19 CLABSI patients, based on diagnosis of COVID-19 during admission. Secondary analyses were non–COVID-19 CLABSI rate versus a historical control period (2019), ICU CLABSI rate in COVID-19 versus non–COVID-19 patients, and CLABSI rates before and after a quality- improvement initiative.
The rate of COVID-19 CLABSI was significantly higher than non–COVID-19 CLABSI. We did not detect a difference between the non–COVID-19 CLABSI rate and the historical control. COVID-19 CLABSIs occurred predominantly in the ICU, and the ICU COVID-19 CLABSI rate was significantly higher than the ICU non–COVID-19 CLABSI rate. A hospital-wide quality-improvement initiative reduced the rate of non–COVID-19 CLABSI but not COVID-19 CLABSI.
Patients hospitalized for COVID-19 have a significantly higher CLABSI rate, particularly in the ICU setting. Reasons for this increase are likely multifactorial, including both patient-specific and process-related issues. Focused quality-improvement efforts were effective in reducing CLABSI rates in non–COVID-19 patients but were less effective in COVID-19 patients.
Healthcare personnel (HCP) with unprotected exposures to aerosol-generating procedures (AGPs) on patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are at risk of infection with severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A retrospective review at an academic medical center demonstrated an infection rate of <1% among HCP involved in AGPs without a respirator and/or eye protection.
To evaluate the National Health Safety Network (NHSN) hospital-onset Clostridioides difficile infection (HO-CDI) standardized infection ratio (SIR) risk adjustment for general acute-care hospitals with large numbers of intensive care unit (ICU), oncology unit, and hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) patients.
Retrospective cohort study.
Eight tertiary-care referral general hospitals in California.
We used FY 2016 data and the published 2015 rebaseline NHSN HO-CDI SIR. We compared facility-wide inpatient HO-CDI events and SIRs, with and without ICU data, oncology and/or HCT unit data, and ICU bed adjustment.
For these hospitals, the median unmodified HO-CDI SIR was 1.24 (interquartile range [IQR], 1.15–1.34); 7 hospitals qualified for the highest ICU bed adjustment; 1 hospital received the second highest ICU bed adjustment; and all had oncology-HCT units with no additional adjustment per the NHSN. Removal of ICU data and the ICU bed adjustment decreased HO-CDI events (median, −25%; IQR, −20% to −29%) but increased the SIR at all hospitals (median, 104%; IQR, 90%–105%). Removal of oncology-HCT unit data decreased HO-CDI events (median, −15%; IQR, −14% to −21%) and decreased the SIR at all hospitals (median, −8%; IQR, −4% to −11%).
For tertiary-care referral hospitals with specialized ICUs and a large number of ICU beds, the ICU bed adjustor functions as a global adjustment in the SIR calculation, accounting for the increased complexity of patients in ICUs and non-ICUs at these facilities. However, the SIR decrease with removal of oncology and HCT unit data, even with the ICU bed adjustment, suggests that an additional adjustment should be considered for oncology and HCT units within general hospitals, perhaps similar to what is done for ICU beds in the current SIR.
We undertook a quality improvement project to address challenges with pulmonary artery catheter (PAC) line maintenance in a setting of low-baseline central-line infection rates. We observed a subsequent reduction in Staphylococcal PAC line infections and a trend toward a reduction in overall PAC infection rates over 1 year.
In patients with β-lactam allergies, administration of non–β-lactam surgical prophylaxis is associated with increased risk of infection. Although many patients self-report β-lactam allergies, most are unconfirmed or mislabeled. A quality improvement process, utilizing a structured β-lactam allergy tool, was implemented to improve the utilization of preferred β-lactam surgical prophylaxis.
Antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) is prevalent but often contrary to published guidelines.
To evaluate risk factors for treatment of ASB.
Retrospective observational study.
A tertiary academic hospital, county hospital, and community hospital.
Hospitalized adults with bacteriuria.
Patients without documented symptoms of urinary tract infection per Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) criteria were classified as ASB. We examined ASB treatment risk factors as well as broad-spectrum antibiotic usage and quantified diagnostic concordance between IDSA and National Healthcare Safety Network criteria.
Among 300 patients with bacteriuria, ASB was present in 71% by IDSA criteria. By National Healthcare Safety Network criteria, 71% of patients had ASB; within-patient diagnostic concordance with IDSA was moderate (kappa, 0.52). After excluding those given antibiotics for nonurinary indications, antibiotics were given to 38% (62/164) with ASB. Factors significantly associated with ASB treatment were elevated urine white cell count (65 vs 24 white blood cells per high-powered field, P<.01), hospital identity (hospital C vs A, odds ratio, 0.34 [95% CI, 0.14–0.80], P =.01), presence of leukocyte esterase (5.48 [2.35–12.79], P<.01), presence of nitrites (2.45 [1.11–5.41], P=.03), and Escherichia coli on culture (2.4 [1.2–4.7], P=.01). Of patients treated for ASB, broad-spectrum antibiotics were used in 84%.
ASB treatment was prevalent across settings and contributed to broad-spectrum antibiotic use. Associating abnormal urinalysis results with the need for antibiotic treatment regardless of symptoms may drive unnecessary antibiotic use.
Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):319–326
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