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ESBL-resistant bacteria spread in hospital despite strict contact precautions



Standard precautions did not require a private bedroom, with gloves, gowns, and apron needed for direct contact to body fluids or wounds only, and consistent hand hygiene. Contact precautions required a private bedroom and strict hand hygiene, with gloves, gowns, and aprons used for any patient contact. Study staff monitored compliance with these procedures monthly.

The primary outcome was the ESBL-E acquisition rate per 1,000 patient days. This was defined as a new ESBL-E detection after the patient had a prior negative screen. Dr. Maechler noted that by epidemiological definition, acquisition does not necessarily imply cross-transmission from other patients.

Adherence to the study protocols was good, she said. Adherence to both contact and standard precautions was about 85%, while adherence to hand hygiene was less at around 62%.

Admission ESBL-E screenings revealed that about 12% of the study population was colonized with the strain at admission. The proportion was nearly identical in the contact and standard precaution groups (11.6%, 12.2%).

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