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Wide discrepancy in surveillance and control of infections in ICUs

Date:
October 15, 2012
Source:
Columbia University Medical Center
Summary:
Screening practices for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in intensive care units (ICUs) vary widely from hospital to hospital, according to a new study.

Screening practices for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs) in intensive care units (ICUs) vary widely from hospital to hospital, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing and published in the October 2012 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control.

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Researchers found that of the hospitals surveyed, a little more than half (59 percent) routinely screened for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aurea, or MRSA. Other potentially deadly MDROs were screened for far less frequently: vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (22 percent), gram-negative rods (12 percent), and C. difficile (11 percent).

The survey showed that not all hospitals follow a comprehensive screening and surveillance policy for infectious disease in the ICU, including the isolation of at-risk patients both during and after laboratory tests for infection. For example, although almost all of the ICUs (98 percent) reported a policy for contact precautions following a positive culture, less than a third reported a policy requiring isolation/contact precautions pending screening results.

While lead author Monika Pogorzelska-Maziarz, PhD, MPH, advocates hospitals tailoring their response to the types and frequency of infection in their local areas, she thinks that some measures included in her study make good sense from a precaution perspective. "It seems prudent to isolate possibly infected patients admitted into the ICU until lab tests come back giving an 'all clear,'" she says.

The researchers found that a larger infection-control staff and longer infection-control staffing hours were associated with better implementation of policy to isolate culture-positive patients. They also found that ICUs with mandatory reporting and electronic surveillance systems were more likely to have a policy of periodic screening for infection after admission.

The research was supported by National Institute of Nursing Research grant RO1NR010107.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Columbia University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Monika Pogorzelska, Patricia W. Stone, Elaine L. Larson. Wide variation in adoption of screening and infection control interventions for multidrug-resistant organisms: A national study. American Journal of Infection Control, Volume 40, Issue 8 , Pages 696-700, October 2012 DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.03.014

Cite This Page:

Columbia University Medical Center. "Wide discrepancy in surveillance and control of infections in ICUs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015161916.htm>.
Columbia University Medical Center. (2012, October 15). Wide discrepancy in surveillance and control of infections in ICUs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015161916.htm
Columbia University Medical Center. "Wide discrepancy in surveillance and control of infections in ICUs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121015161916.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

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