New pediatric infection prevention guidelines for residential facilities

September 18, 2013

With the evolving changes in the delivery of healthcare to children worldwide, which frequently include long-distance travel and lodging for specialized medical treatments, the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities to release the first-ever infection prevention and control guidelines for "home away from home" pediatric residential facilities to help prevent the spread of infectious pathogens among vulnerable pediatric populations. The new guidelines were published in the October issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of SHEA.

"Preventing transmission of among patients, families and healthcare personnel is a challenge in all settings where care is being delivered," said Judith A. Guzman-Cottrill, DO, lead author of the guidelines. "Although these settings are not healthcare facilities, there is a duty to protect patients and their families who increasingly utilize these family-centered facilities that were developed to meet growing needs and improve the quality of life of children worldwide."

Pediatric residential settings, including Ronald McDonald Houses, provide support services and lodging for injured or ill children and their families, but staff at these facilities do not provide medical services. Although the annual incidence of infections acquired in pediatric residential facilities is unknown, patients vulnerable to infection and their families are at risk of exposure to in common areas, such as family lounges and community kitchens.

With existing infection control guidelines from hospital and long-term care facilities considered too stringent to apply to pediatric residential settings, the new guidelines provide standardized guidance and educate staff and volunteers on the principles of to reduce the risk of infection for children and families.

Practices include standard precautions, including and glove use, respiratory hygiene etiquette, and safe injection practices. Additional protocols to prevent transmission of infection include health screening of house guests and visitors, management of ill staff and volunteers, and mandatory vaccination practices by staff, volunteers, and house guests.

The guidelines have been endorsed by the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society. Key points and information from the have been adapted in educational materials for patients and families planning to stay at a family-centered residential facility. These patient guides are available on the SHEA website.

More information: Judith A. Guzman-Cottrill, Karen A. Ravin, Kristina A. Bryant, Danielle M. Zerr, Larry Kociolek, Jane D. Siegel. "Infection Prevention and Control in Residential Facilities for Pediatric Patients and Their Families." Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 34:10 (October 2013).

Related Stories

Patient isolation tied to dissatisfaction with care

September 18, 2013

Patient satisfaction has an increasing impact on hospitals' bottom lines, factoring into Medicare reimbursement of hospital care. A new study finds patients placed in Contact Precautions (Contact Isolation) were twice as ...

Recommended for you

Experimental MERS vaccine shows promise in animal studies

July 28, 2015

A two-step regimen of experimental vaccines against Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) prompted immune responses in mice and rhesus macaques, report National Institutes of Health scientists who designed the vaccines. ...

Can social isolation fuel epidemics?

July 21, 2015

Conventional wisdom has it that the more people stay within their own social groups and avoid others, the less likely it is small disease outbreaks turn into full-blown epidemics. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, according ...

Lack of knowledge on animal disease leaves humans at risk

July 20, 2015

Researchers from the University of Sydney have painted the most detailed picture to date of major infectious diseases shared between wildlife and livestock, and found a huge gap in knowledge about diseases which could spread ...

IBD genetically similar in Europeans and non-Europeans

July 20, 2015

The first genetic study of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to include individuals from diverse populations has shown that the regions of the genome underlying the disease are consistent around the world. This study, conducted ...

0 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.