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To assess whether measurement and feedback of chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) skin concentrations can improve CHG bathing practice across multiple intensive care units (ICUs).
A before-and-after quality improvement study measuring patient CHG skin concentrations during 6 point-prevalence surveys (3 surveys each during baseline and intervention periods).
The study was conducted across 7 geographically diverse ICUs with routine CHG bathing.
Adult patients in the medical ICU.
CHG skin concentrations were measured at the neck, axilla, and inguinal region using a semiquantitative colorimetric assay. Aggregate unit-level CHG skin concentration measurements from the baseline period and each intervention period survey were reported back to ICU leadership, which then used routine education and quality improvement activities to improve CHG bathing practice. We used multilevel linear models to assess the impact of intervention on CHG skin concentrations.
We enrolled 681 (93%) of 736 eligible patients; 92% received a CHG bath prior to survey. At baseline, CHG skin concentrations were lowest on the neck, compared to axillary or inguinal regions (P < .001). CHG was not detected on 33% of necks, 19% of axillae, and 18% of inguinal regions (P < .001 for differences in body sites). During the intervention period, ICUs that used CHG-impregnated cloths had a 3-fold increase in patient CHG skin concentrations as compared to baseline (P < .001).
Routine CHG bathing performance in the ICU varied across multiple hospitals. Measurement and feedback of CHG skin concentrations can be an important tool to improve CHG bathing practice.
Background: Identification of hospitalized patients with enteric multidrug-resistant organism (MDRO) carriage, combined with implementation of targeted infection control interventions, may help reduce MDRO transmission. However, the optimal surveillance approach has not been defined. We sought to determine whether daily serial rectal surveillance for MDROs detects more incident cases (acquisition) of MDRO colonization in medical intensive care unit (MICU) patients than admission and discharge surveillance alone. Methods: Prospective longitudinal observational single-center study from January 11, 2017, to January 11, 2018. Inclusion criteria were ≥3 consecutive MICU days and ≥2 rectal or stool swabs per MICU admission. Daily rectal or stool swabs were collected from patients and cultured for MDROs, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), carbapenem-resistant Enterobacterales (CRE), third-generation cephalosporin-resistant Enterobacterales (3GCR), and extended-spectrum β-lactamase–producing Enterobacterales (ESBL-E) (as a subset of 3GCR). MDRO detection at any time during the MICU stay was used to calculate prevalent colonization. Incident colonization (acquisition) was defined as new detection of an MDRO after at least 1 prior negative swab. We then determined the proportion of prevalent and incident cases detected by daily testing that were also detected when only first swabs (admission) and last swabs (discharge) were tested. Data were analyzed using SAS version 9.4 software. Results: In total, 939 MICU stays of 842 patients were analyzed. Patient characteristics were median age 64 years (interquartile range [IQR], 51–74), median MICU length of stay 5 days (IQR, 3–8), median number of samples per admission 3 (IQR, 2–5), and median Charlson index 4 (IQR, 2–7). Prevalent colonization with any MDRO was detected by daily swabbing in 401 stays (42.7%). Compared to daily serial swabbing, an admission- and discharge-only approach detected ≥86% of MDRO cases (ie, overall prevalent MDRO colonization). Detection of incident MDRO colonization by an admission- or discharge-only approach would have detected fewer cases than daily swabbing (Figure 1); ≥34% of total MDRO acquisitions would have been missed. Conclusions: Testing patients upon admission and discharge to an MICU may fail to detect MDRO acquisition in more than one-third of patients, thereby reducing the effectiveness of MDRO control programs that are targeted against known MDRO carriers. The poor performance of a single discharge swab may be due to intermittent or low-level MDRO shedding, inadequate sampling, or transient MDRO colonization. Additional research is needed to determine the optimal surveillance approach of enteric MDRO carriage.
Background: Long-term acute-care hospitals (LTACHs) are disproportionately burdened by multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) like KPC-Kp. Although cohorting KPC-Kp+ patients into rooms with other carriers can be an outbreak-control strategy and may protect negative patients from colonization, it is unclear whether cohorted patients are at unintended increased risk of cross colonization with additional KPC-Kp strains. Methods: Cohorting KPC-Kp+ patients at admission into rooms with other positive patients was part of a bundled intervention that reduced transmission in a high-prevalence LTACH. Rectal surveillance culturing for KPC-Kp was performed at the start of the study, upon admission, and biweekly thereafter, capturing 94% of patients. We evaluated whole-genome sequencing (WGS) evidence of acquisition of distinct KPC-Kp strains in a convenience sample of patients positive for KPC-Kp at study start or admission to identify plausible secondary KPC-Kp acquisitions. Results: WGS multilocus sequence type (MLST) strain variability was observed among the 452 isolates from the 254 patients colonized by KPC-Kp (Fig. 1). Among the 32 patients who were positive at the beginning of the study or admission and had a secondary isolate collected at a later date (median, 89 days apart, range, 2–310 days), 17 (53%) had secondary isolates differing by MLST from their admission isolate. Although 60% of the KPC-Kp in the study was ST258, there was substantial genomic variation within ST258 isolates from the same patient (range, 0–102 genetic variants), suggesting multiple acquisitions of distinct ST258 isolates. Among the 17 patients who imported ST258 and had ST258 isolated again later, 11 (65%) carried secondary isolates genetically closer to isolates from other importing patients than to their own ST258 (Fig. 2). Examination of spatiotemporal exposures among patients with evidence of multiple acquisitions revealed that 11 (65%) patients with multiple MLSTs shared a room with a patient who was colonized with an isolate matching the secondary MLST, and 6 (35%) patients who carried multiple distinct ST258 isolates shared a room with a patient who imported these closely related isolates prior to secondary acquisition. Conclusions: Half of patients who imported KPC-Kp and had multiple isolates available had genomically supported secondary acquisitions linked to roommates who carried the acquired strains. Although cohorting is intended to protect negative patients from acquiring MDROs, this practice may promote multiple strain acquisitions by colonized patients in the cohort, potentially prolonging the period of MDRO carriage and increasing time at risk of infection. Our findings add to the debate about single-patient rooms, which may be preferred to cohorts to minimize potential harms by reducing MDRO transmission.
Cohorting patients who are colonized or infected with multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) protects uncolonized patients from acquiring MDROs in healthcare settings. The potential for cross transmission within the cohort and the possibility of colonized patients acquiring secondary isolates with additional antibiotic resistance traits is often neglected. We searched for evidence of cross transmission of KPC+ Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC-Kp) colonization among cohorted patients in a long-term acute-care hospital (LTACH), and we evaluated the impact of secondary acquisitions on resistance potential.
Genomic epidemiological investigation.
A high-prevalence LTACH during a bundled intervention that included cohorting KPC-Kp–positive patients.
Whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and location data were analyzed to identify potential cases of cross transmission between cohorted patients.
Secondary KPC-Kp isolates from 19 of 28 admission-positive patients were more closely related to another patient’s isolate than to their own admission isolate. Of these 19 cases, 14 showed strong genomic evidence for cross transmission (<10 single nucleotide variants or SNVs), and most of these patients occupied shared cohort floors (12 patients) or rooms (4 patients) at the same time. Of the 14 patients with strong genomic evidence of acquisition, 12 acquired antibiotic resistance genes not found in their primary isolates.
Acquisition of secondary KPC-Kp isolates carrying distinct antibiotic resistance genes was detected in nearly half of cohorted patients. These results highlight the importance of healthcare provider adherence to infection prevention protocols within cohort locations, and they indicate the need for future studies to assess whether multiple-strain acquisition increases risk of adverse patient outcomes.
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