Microbiological colonization of healthcare workers’ mobile phones in a tertiary-level Italian intensive care unit

This article by Galazzi and colleagues was published in Intensive and Critical Care Nursing online in early February 2019.
Background:  Careful hand hygiene of healthcare workers is recommended to reduce transmission of pathogenic microorganisms to patients. Mobile phones are commonly used during work shifts and may act as vehicles of pathogens.
Objective:  To assess the colonisation rate of intensive care unit healthcare workers’ mobile phones before and after work shifts.
Methods:  Prospective observational study conducted in an academic, tertiary-level intensive care unit. Healthcare workers (including doctors, nurses and healthcare assistants) had their mobile phones sampled for microbiology before and after work shifts. Samples were taken with a swab in a standardised modality.
Results:  Fifty healthcare workers participated in the study (91% of the department staff). One hundred swabs were taken from 50 mobile phones. Forty-three healthcare workers (86%) reported a habitual use of their phones during the work shift. All phones (100%) were positive for bacteria. The most frequently isolated bacteria were Coagulase Negative Staphylococci, Bacillus sp. and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (97%, 56%, 17%, respectively). No patient admitted to the intensive care unit during the study period was positive for bacteria found on healthcare workers’ mobile phones. No difference in bacteria types and burden was found between the beginning and the end of work shifts.
Conclusion:  Healthcare workers’ mobile phones are colonized even before the work shift and irrespective of the patients’ microbiological flora.
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Video didactic at the point of care impacts hand hygiene compliance in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)

This paper was published in Journal of Healthcare Risk Management February 2018 by Hoang et al.
Objective:  To increase the hand-washing (HW) duration of staff and visitors in the NICU to a minimum of 20 seconds as recommended by the CDC.
Methods:  Intervention included video didactic triggered by motion sensor to play above wash basin. Video enacted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) HW technique in real time and displayed timer of 20 seconds. HW was reviewed from surveillance video. Swabs of hands plated and observed for qualitative growth (QG) of bacterial colonies.
Results:  In visitors, the mean HW duration at baseline was 16.3 seconds and increased to 23.4 seconds at the 2-week interval (p = .003) and 22.9 seconds at the 9-month interval (p < .0005). In staff, the mean HW duration at baseline was 18.4 seconds and increased to 29.0 seconds at 2-week interval (p = .001) and 25.7 seconds at the 9-month interval (p < .0005). In visitors, HW compliance at baseline was 33% and increased to 52% at the 2-week interval (p = .076) and 69% at the 9-month interval (p = .001). In staff, HW compliance at baseline was 42% and increased to 64% at the 2-week interval (p = .025) and 72% at the 9-month interval (p = .001). Increasing HW was significantly associated with linear decrease in bacterial QG.
Conclusions:  The intervention significantly increased mean HW time, compliance with a 20-econd wash time and decreased bacterial QG of hands and these results were sustained over a 9-month period.
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Comparative Antimicrobial Efficacy of Two Hand Sanitizers in Intensive Care Units Common Areas: A Randomized, Controlled Trial

The paper written by Deshpande et al was published in “Infection control and hospital epidemiology” January 2018.
Objective:  Contaminated hands of healthcare workers (HCWs) are an important source of transmission of healthcare-associated infections. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, while effective, do not provide sustained antimicrobial activity. The objective of this study was to compare the immediate and persistent activity of 2 hand hygiene products (ethanol [61% w/v] plus chlorhexidine gluconate [CHG; 1.0% solution] and ethanol only [70% v/v]) when used in an intensive care unit (ICU).
Design:  Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, crossover study
Setting: Three ICUs at a large teaching hospital
Participants: In total, 51 HCWs involved in direct patient care were enrolled in and completed the study.
Methods:   All HCWs were randomized 1:1 to either product. Hand prints were obtained immediately after the product was applied and again after spending 4-7 minutes in the ICU common areas prior to entering a patient room or leaving the area. The numbers of aerobic colony-forming units (CFU) were compared for the 2 groups after log transformation. Each participant tested the alternative product after a 3-day washout period.
Results:  On bare hands, use of ethanol plus CHG was associated with significantly lower recovery of aerobic CFU, both immediately after use (0.27 ± 0.05 and 0.88 ± 0.08 log10 CFU; P = .035) and after spending time in ICU common areas (1.81 ± 0.07 and 2.17 ± 0.05 log10 CFU; P<.0001). Both the antiseptics were well tolerated by HCWs.
Conclusions:  In comparison to the ethanol-only product, the ethanol plus CHG sanitizer was associated with significantly lower aerobic bacterial counts on hands of HCWs, both immediately after use and after spending time in ICU common areas.
Library members can order the full text of individual articles such as this one via the Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service using the article requests online via this link.

Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU

This review provides a summary of CAUTI reduction strategies that are specific to the intensive care setting | Current Opinion in Critical Care

Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) due to more frequent use of catheters and lower threshold for obtaining urine cultures.

The surveillance definition for CAUTI is imprecise and measures catheter-associated bacteriuria rather than true infection. Alternatives have been proposed, but CAUTI rates measured by this definition are currently required to be reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and high CAUTI rates can result in financial penalties. Although CAUTI may not directly result in significant patient harm, it has several indirect patient safety implications and CAUTI reduction has several benefits. Various bundles have been successful at reducing CAUTI both in individual institutions and on larger scales such as healthcare networks and entire states.

Full reference: Sampathkumar, P. (2017) Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU. Current Opinion in Critical Care. Vol. 23 (Issue 5) pp. 372–377

 

Incidence, prevalence, and management of MRSA bacteremia across patient populations

A review of recent developments in MRSA management and treatment | Critical Care

B0006889 MRSA
Image source: Annie Cavanagh – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC 4.0

Image shows clusters of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is still a major global healthcare problem. Of concern is S. aureus bacteremia, which exhibits high rates of morbidity and mortality and can cause metastatic or complicated infections such as infective endocarditis or sepsis. MRSA is responsible for most global S. aureus bacteremia cases, and compared with methicillin-sensitive S. aureus, MRSA infection is associated with poorer clinical outcomes. S. aureus virulence is affected by the unique combination of toxin and immune-modulatory gene products, which may differ by geographic location and healthcare- or community-associated acquisition.

Management of S. aureus bacteremia involves timely identification of the infecting strain and source of infection, proper choice of antibiotic treatment, and robust prevention strategies. Resistance and nonsusceptibility to first-line antimicrobials combined with a lack of equally effective alternatives complicates MRSA bacteremia treatment.

This review describes trends in epidemiology and factors that influence the incidence of MRSA bacteremia. Current and developing diagnostic tools, treatments, and prevention strategies are also discussed.

Full reference: Hassoun, A. et al. (2017) Incidence, prevalence, and management of MRSA bacteremia across patient populations—a review of recent developments in MRSA management and treatment. Critical Care. 21:211

Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU

This review provides a summary of CAUTI reduction strategies that are specific to the intensive care setting | Current Opinion in Critical Care

Purpose of review: Patients in the ICU are at higher risk for catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) due to more frequent use of catheters and lower threshold for obtaining urine cultures.

Recent findings: The surveillance definition for CAUTI is imprecise and measures catheter-associated bacteriuria rather than true infection. Alternatives have been proposed, but CAUTI rates measured by this definition are currently required to be reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and high CAUTI rates can result in financial penalties. Although CAUTI may not directly result in significant patient harm, it has several indirect patient safety implications and CAUTI reduction has several benefits. Various bundles have been successful at reducing CAUTI both in individual institutions and on larger scales such as healthcare networks and entire states.

Summary: CAUTI reduction is possible in the ICU through a combination of reduced catheter usage, improved catheter care and stewardship of urine cultures.

Full reference: Sampathkumar, P. (2017) Reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections in the ICU. Current Opinion in Critical Care: Published online: 28 July 2017

No-touch methods of terminal cleaning in the intensive care unit

Results from the first large randomized trial with patient-centred outcomes | Critical Care

Environmental contamination may play a major role in intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired infections, despite current terminal cleaning standards. Anderson et al. recently performed the first large randomized trial investigating a no-touch method of terminal cleaning with a patient-centred outcome, and provided more robust data on the role of environmental contamination for healthcare-associated infections. The authors evaluated three different enhanced terminal disinfection methods (ultraviolet, UV light, UV light plus bleach, and bleach) compared to the reference standard for prevention of transmission of multidrug resistant organisms (MDROs) and Clostridium difficile to patients exposed to a room whose prior occupant was either colonized or infected with a MDRO.

Full reference: Russotto, V. et al. (2017) No-touch methods of terminal cleaning in the intensive care unit: results from the first large randomized trial with patient-centred outcomes. Critical Care. 21:117.