Wide discrepancy in surveillance and control of infections in ICUs

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.

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: -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- 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.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Most California hospitals implementing infection control

Mar 17, 2012

(HealthDay) -- Most California hospitals implement some policies to improve infection control for multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO), primarily methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), but fe ...

Recommended for you

Ebola mistakes should serve a lesson says WHO

2 hours ago

The World Health Organization's chief admitted on Sunday that the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve as a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future.

British Ebola nurse discharged from hospital

9 hours ago

A British nurse who contracted Ebola while working as a volunteer in Sierra Leone said she was "happy to be alive" as she was discharged from hospital on Saturday having made a full recovery.

Tide turning in Ebola fight after hard lessons

Jan 24, 2015

A top U.N. official in the fight against Ebola greeted just three patients at one treatment center he visited this week in Sierra Leone. Families in Liberia are no longer required to cremate the remains of ...

Just five Ebola cases left in Liberia: UN

Jan 24, 2015

The United Nations said on Saturday Liberia was dealing with just five remaining cases of Ebola, in the clearest sign yet that the country is nearing the end of the outbreak.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.