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Early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, the CDC recommended collection of a lower respiratory tract (LRT) specimen for severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) testing in addition to the routinely recommended upper respiratory tract (URT) testing in mechanically ventilated patients. Significant operational challenges were noted at our institution using this approach. In this report, we describe our experience with routine collection of paired URT and LRT sample testing. Our results revealed a high concordance between the 2 sources, and that all children tested for SARS-CoV-2 were appropriately diagnosed with URT testing alone. There was no added benefit to LRT testing. Based on these findings, our institutional approach was therefore adjusted to sample the URT alone for most patients, with LRT sampling reserved for patients with ongoing clinical suspicion for SARS-CoV-2 after a negative URT test.
Central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) cause morbidity and mortality in critically ill children. We examined novel and/or modifiable risk factors for CLABSI to identify new potential targets for infection prevention strategies.
This single-center retrospective matched case-control study of pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients was conducted in a 60-bed PICU from April 1, 2013, to December 31, 2017. Case patients were in the PICU, had a central venous catheter (CVC), and developed a CLABSI. Control patients were in the PICU for ≥2 days, had a CVC for ≥3 days, and did not develop a CLABSI. Cases and controls were matched 1:4 on age, number of complex chronic conditions, and hospital length of stay.
Overall, 72 CLABSIs were matched to 281 controls. Univariate analysis revealed 14 risk factors, and 4 remained significant in multivariable analysis: total number of central line accesses in the 3 days preceding CLABSI (80+ accesses: OR, 4.8; P = .01), acute behavioral health needs (OR, 3.2; P = .02), CVC duration >7 days (8–14 days: OR, 4.2; P = .01; 15–29 days: OR, 9.8; P < .01; 30–59 days: OR, 17.3; P < .01; 60–89 days: OR, 39.8; P < .01; 90+ days: OR, 4.9; P = .01), and hematologic/immunologic disease (OR, 1.5; P = .05).
Novel risk factors for CLABSI in PICU patients include acute behavioral health needs and >80 CVC accesses in the 3 days before CLABSI. Interventions focused on these factors may reduce CLABSIs in this high-risk population.
To assess variability in antimicrobial use and associations with infection testing in pediatric ventilator-associated events (VAEs).
Descriptive retrospective cohort with nested case-control study.
Pediatric intensive care units (PICUs), cardiac intensive care units (CICUs), and neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) in 6 US hospitals.
Children≤18 years ventilated for≥1 calendar day.
We identified patients with pediatric ventilator-associated conditions (VACs), pediatric VACs with antimicrobial use for≥4 days (AVACs), and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP, defined as pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test) according to previously proposed criteria.
Among 9,025 ventilated children, we identified 192 VAC cases, 43 in CICUs, 70 in PICUs, and 79 in NICUs. AVAC criteria were met in 79 VAC cases (41%) (58% CICU; 51% PICU; and 23% NICU), and varied by hospital (CICU, 20–67%; PICU, 0–70%; and NICU, 0–43%). Type and duration of AVAC antimicrobials varied by ICU type. AVAC cases in CICUs and PICUs received broad-spectrum antimicrobials more often than those in NICUs. Among AVAC cases, 39% had respiratory infection diagnostic testing performed; PVAP was identified in 15 VAC cases. Also, among AVAC cases, 73% had no associated positive respiratory or nonrespiratory diagnostic test.
Antimicrobial use is common in pediatric VAC, with variability in spectrum and duration of antimicrobials within hospitals and across ICU types, while PVAP is uncommon. Prolonged antimicrobial use despite low rates of PVAP or positive laboratory testing for infection suggests that AVAC may provide a lever for antimicrobial stewardship programs to improve utilization.
To reduce the healthcare-associated viral infection (HAVI) rate to 0.70 infections or fewer per 1,000 patient days by developing and sustaining a comprehensive prevention bundle.
A 546-bed quaternary-care children’s hospital situated in a large urban area.
Inpatients with a confirmed HAVI were included. These HAVIs were identified through routine surveillance by infection preventionists and were confirmed using National Healthcare Safety Network definitions for upper respiratory infections (URIs), pneumonia, and gastroenteritis.
Quality improvement (QI) methods and statistical process control (SPC) analyses were used in a retrospective observational analysis of HAVI data from July 2012 through June 2016.
In total, 436 HAVIs were identified during the QI initiative: 63% were URIs, 34% were gastrointestinal infections, and 2.5% were viral pneumonias. The most frequent pathogens were rhinovirus (n=171) and norovirus (n=83). Our SPC analysis of HAVI rate revealed a statistically significant reduction in March 2014 from a monthly average of 0.81 to 0.60 infections per 1,000 patient days. Among HAVIs with event reviews completed, 15% observed contact with a sick primary caregiver and 15% reported contact with a sick visitor. Patient outcomes identified included care escalation (37%), transfer to ICU (11%), and delayed discharge (19%).
The iterative development, implementation, and refinement of targeted prevention practices was associated with a significant reduction in pediatric HAVI. These practices were ultimately formalized into a comprehensive prevention bundle and provide an important framework for both patient and systems-level interventions that can be applied year-round and across inpatient areas.
Adult ventilator-associated event (VAE) definitions include ventilator-associated conditions (VAC) and subcategories for infection-related ventilator-associated complications (IVAC) and possible ventilator-associated pneumonia (PVAP). We explored these definitions for children.
Pediatric, cardiac, or neonatal intensive care units (ICUs) in 6 US hospitals
Patients ≤18 years old ventilated for ≥1 day
We identified patients with pediatric VAC based on previously proposed criteria. We applied adult temperature, white blood cell count, antibiotic, and culture criteria for IVAC and PVAP to these patients. We matched pediatric VAC patients with controls and evaluated associations with adverse outcomes using Cox proportional hazards models.
In total, 233 pediatric VACs (12,167 ventilation episodes) were identified. In the cardiac ICU (CICU), 62.5% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; in the pediatric ICU (PICU), 54.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria; and in the neonatal ICU (NICU), 20.2% of VACs met adult IVAC criteria. Most patients had abnormal white blood cell counts and temperatures; we therefore recommend simplifying surveillance by focusing on “pediatric VAC with antimicrobial use” (pediatric AVAC). Pediatric AVAC with a positive respiratory diagnostic test (“pediatric PVAP”) occurred in 8.9% of VACs in the CICU, 13.3% of VACs in the PICU, and 4.3% of VACs in the NICU. Hospital mortality was increased, and hospital and ICU length of stay and duration of ventilation were prolonged among all pediatric VAE subsets compared with controls.
We propose pediatric AVAC for surveillance related to antimicrobial use, with pediatric PVAP as a subset of AVAC. Studies on generalizability and responsiveness of these metrics to quality improvement initiatives are needed, as are studies to determine whether lower pediatric VAE rates are associated with improvements in other outcomes.
We surveyed hospital epidemiologists at 28 Children’s Hospital Association member hospitals regarding their infection prevention and control programs. We found substantial variability between children’s hospitals in both the structure and the practice of these programs. Research and the development of evidence-based guidelines addressing infection prevention in pediatrics are needed.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2015;00(0): 1–4
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