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Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) causes substantial healthcare-associated morbidity. Unlike other common healthcare-associated pathogens, little comparative information is available about CDAD rates in hospitalized patients.
To determine CDAD rates per 10,000 patient-days and per 1,000 hospital admissions at 7 geographically diverse tertiary-care centers from 2000 to 2003, and to survey participating centers on methods of CDAD surveillance and case definition.
Each center provided specific information for the study period, including case numbers, patient-days, and hospital characteristics. Case definitions and laboratory diagnoses of healthcare-associated CDAD were determined by each institution. Within institutions, case definitions remained consistent during the study period.
Overall, mean annual case rates of CDAD were
12.1 per 10,000 patient-days (range, 3.1 to 25.1) and 7.4 per 1,000 hospital admissions (range, 3.1 to 13.1). No significant increases were observed in CDAD case rates during the 4-year interval, either at individual centers or in the Prevention Epicenter hospitals as a whole. Prevention Epicenter hospitals differed in their CDAD case definitions. Different case definitions used by the hospitals applied to a fixed data set resulted in a 30% difference in rates. No associations were identified between diagnostic test or case definition used and the relative rate of CDAD at a specific medical center.
Rates of CDAD vary widely at tertiary-care centers across the United States. No significant increases in case rates were identified. The varying clinical and laboratory approaches to diagnosis complicated comparisons between hospitals. To facilitate benchmarking and comparisons between institutions, we recommend development of a more standardized case definition.
Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea (CDAD) is an important infection in hospital settings. Its impact on outpatient care has not been well defined.
To examine risk factors of ambulatory cancer patients with CDAD.
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a tertiary-care hospital.
Cases of CDAD among oncology outpatients from January 1999 through December 2000 were identified via positive C. difficile toxin assay results on stool specimens sent from clinics or the emergency department. A 1:3 matched case-control study examined exposures associated with CDAD.
Forty-eight episodes of CDAD were identified in cancer outpatients. The mean age was 51 years; 44% were female. Forty-one (85%) had received antibiotics within 60 days of diagnosis, completing courses a median of 16.5 days prior to diagnosis. Case-patients received longer courses of first-generation cephalosporins (4.8 vs 3.2 days; P = .03) and fluoroquinolones (23.6 vs 8 days; P < .01) than did control-patients. Those receiving clindamycin were 3.9-fold more likely to develop CDAD (P < .01). For each additional day of clindamycin or third-generation cephalosporin exposure, patients were 1.29- and 1.26-fold more likely to develop CDAD (P < .01 and .04, respectively). The 38 CDAD patients hospitalized during the risk period (79.2%) spent more time as inpatients than did control-patients (19.3 vs 9.7 days; P <. 001).
Antibiotic use, especially with cephalosporins and clindamycin, and prolonged hospitalization contributed to the development of CDAD. Outpatient CDAD appears to be most strongly related to inpatient exposures; reasons for the delayed development of symptoms are unknown.
To assess the effect of implementing safety-engineered devices on percutaneous injury epidemiology, specifically on percutaneous injuries associated with a higher risk of blood-borne pathogen exposure.
Before-and-after intervention trial comparing 3-year preintervention (1998–2000) and 1-year postintervention (2001–2002) periods. Percutaneous injury data have been entered prospectively into CDC NaSH software since 1998.
A 427-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Manhattan.
All employees who reported percutaneous injuries during the study period.
A “safer-needle system,” composed of a variety of safety-engineered devices to allow for needle-safe IV delivery, blood collection, IV insertion, and intramuscular and subcutaneous injection, was implemented in February 2001.
The mean annual incidence of percutaneous injuries decreased from 34.08 per 1,000 full-time–equivalent employees preintervention to 14.25 postintervention (P < .001). Reductions in the average monthly number of percutaneous injuries resulting from both low-risk (P < .01) and high-risk (P was not significant) activities were observed. Nurses experienced the greatest decrease (74.5%, P < .001), followed by ancillary staff (61.5%, P = .03). Significant rate reductions were observed for the following activities: manipulating patients or sharps (83.5%, P < .001), collisions or contact with sharps (73.0%, P = .01), disposal-related injuries (21.41%, P = .001), and catheter insertions (88.2%, P < .001). Injury rates involving hollow-bore needles also decreased (70.6%, P < .001).
The implementation of safety-engineered devices reduced percutaneous injury rates across occupations, activities, times of injury, and devices. Moreover, intervention impact was observed when stratified by risk for blood-borne pathogen transmission.
To examine whether implementation of safety-engineered devices in 2001 had an effect on rates of percutaneous injury (PI) reported by HCWs.
Before-and-after intervention trial comparing 3-year preintervention (1998–2001) and 2-year postintervention (2001–2002) periods. PI data from anonymous, self-administered surveys were prospectively entered into CDC NaSH software.
A 427-bed, tertiary-care hospital in Manhattan.
HCWs who attended state-mandated training sessions and completed the survey (1,132 preintervention; 821 postintervention).
Implementation of a “safer-needle system” composed of various safety-engineered devices for needle-safe TV delivery-insertion, blood collection, and intramuscular-subcutaneous injection.
Preintervention, the overall annual rate of PIs self-reported on the survey was 36.5 per 100 respondents, compared with 13.9 per 100 respondents postintervention (P < .01). The annual rate of formally reported PIs decreased from 8.3 to 3.1 per 100 respondents (P < .01). Report rates varied by occupational group (P ≤ .02). The overall rate did not change between study periods (22.7% to 22.3%), although reporting improved among nurses (23.6% to 44.4%, P = .03) and worsened among building services staff (90.5% to 50%, P = .03). HCWs with greater numbers of Pis self-reported on the survey were less likely to formally report injuries (P < .01). The two most common reasons for nonreport (ie, thought injury was low risk or believed patient was low risk for blood-borne disease) did not vary from preintervention to postintervention.
Safety-engineered device implementation decreased rates of Pis formally reported and self-reported on the survey. However, this intervention, with concomitant intensive education, had varying effects on reporting behavior by occupation and a minimal effect on overall reporting rates.
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