To determine the validity of using healthcare worker (HCW) recall of patient interactions and medical record review for contact tracing in a critical care setting.
Trained observers recorded the interactions of nurses, respiratory therapists, and service assistants with study patients in a medical-surgical intensive care unit. These observers' records were used as the reference standard to test the criterion validity of using HCW recall data or medical record review data to identify exposure characteristics. We assessed the effects of previous quarantine of the HCW (because of possible exposure) and the availability of patients' medical records for use as memory aids on the accuracy of HCW recall.
A 10-bed medical-surgical intensive care unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Ontario.
Thirty-six HCWs observed caring for 16 patients, for a total of 55 healthcare worker shifts.
Recall accuracy was better among HCWs who were provided with patient medical records as memory aids (P
To evaluate adherence to antibiotic recommendations for the treatment of pneumonia in patients who receive long-term care and to assess outcomes associated with these recommendations.
A prospective cohort study.
Twenty-two facilities that provide long-term care in southern Ontario.
Older adults treated with antibiotics for a presumptive diagnosis of pneumonia and those with radiologically confirmed pneumonia
Over a 12-month period, older patients who were treated with antibiotics for presumptive pneumonia were prospectively identified. A random sample of these antibiotic courses (646 courses in 638 patients) was reviewed using a standardized data collection form, and demographic and clinical data were collected. Antibiotic courses were classified according to Canadian and American Thoracic Society antibiotic recommendations for pneumonia. In patients with radiologically confirmed pneumonia, the effect of adherence to these recommendations on mortality and persistence of symptoms was assessed.
Only 27.6% (178 of 646) of antibiotic prescriptions evaluated met antibiotic recommendations for nursing-home-acquired pneumonia, and the proportion meeting these varied greatly by facility, ranging from 0% to 53% (median 31%). For patients with radiologically confirmed pneumonia, age (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 1.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.0-2.4, per increase in 10 yr, p = 0.02), sex (adjusted OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.1-8.0, p = 0.03), and adherence to recommended antibiotics (OR 3.0, 95% CI 1.3-7.2, p = 0.01) were associated with death. Adherence to the recommended antibiotics was also associated with adverse reactions, which occurred in 10% of prescriptions meeting the recommendations (OR 2.4, 95% CI 1.3-4.6, p = 0.01).
Adherence to recommended guidelines for antibiotic treatment was low and highly variable among study facilities. Use of recommended antibiotic regimens was associated with increased adverse events and worse outcomes in patients with radiologically confirmed pneumonia.
There are limited clinical and epidemiological data on patients diagnosed with Bell's palsy. While investigating an apparent clustering of Bell's palsy, we sought to characterize the spectrum of illness in patients with this diagnosis.
A telephone survey of persons with idiopathic facial (Bell's) palsy in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA, population = 4.99 million) and Nova Scotia (population = 0.93 million) from August 1 to November 15, 1997 collected information on subject demographics, neurological symptoms, constitutional symptoms, medical investigation and management. Information regarding potential risks for exposure to infectious agents, past medical history, and family history of Bell's palsy was also collected. Subjects with other secondary causes of facial palsy were excluded.
In the GTA and Nova Scotia, 222 and 36 patients were diagnosed with idiopathic facial (Bell's) palsy, respectively. The crude annualized incidence of Bell's palsy was 15.2 and 13.1 per 100,000 population in the GTA and Nova Scotia, respectively. There was no temporal or geographical clustering, and symptomatology did not differ significantly between the two samples. The mean age was 45 years, with 55% of subjects being female. The most common symptoms accompanying Bell's palsy were increased tearing (63%), pain in or around the ear (63%), and taste abnormalities (52%). A significant number of patients reported neurological symptoms not attributable to the facial nerve.
No clustering of cases of Bell's palsy was observed to support an infectious etiology for the condition. Misdiagnosis of the etiology of facial weakness is common. Patients diagnosed with Bell's palsy have a variety of neurological symptoms, many of which cannot be attributed to a facial nerve disorder.
To determine the incidence and variability of antibiotic use in facilities which provide chronic care and to determine how often clinical criteria for infection are met when antibiotics are prescribed in these facilities.
A prospective, 12-month, observational cohort study.
Twenty-two facilities which provide chronic care in southwestern Ontario.
Patients who were treated with systemic antibiotics over the study period.
Characteristics of antibiotic prescriptions (name, dose, duration, and indication) and clinical features of randomly selected patients who were treated with antibiotics.
A total of 9,373 courses of antibiotics were prescribed for 2,408 patients (66% of all patients in study facilities). The incidence of antibiotic prescriptions in the facilities ranged from 2.9 to 13.9 antibiotic courses per 1,000 patient-days. Thirty-six percent of antibiotics were prescribed for respiratory tract infections, 33% for urinary infections, and 13% for skin and soft tissue infections. Standardized surveillance definitions of infection were met in 49% of the 1,602 randomly selected patients who were prescribed antibiotics. Diagnostic criteria for respiratory, urinary, and skin infection were met in 58%, 28%, and 65% of prescriptions, respectively. One third of antibiotic prescriptions for a urinary indication were for asymptomatic bacteriuria. Adverse reactions were noted in 6% of prescriptions for respiratory and urinary infections and 4% of prescriptions for skin infection.
Antibiotic use is frequent and highly variable amongst patients who receive chronic care. Reducing antibiotic prescriptions for asymptomatic bacteriuria represents an important way to optimize antibiotic use in this population.
Departments of Microbiology and Infectious Disease, Pediatrics, and Community Health Sciences and Child Health Research Unit, Alberta Children's Hospital, University of Calgary, Calgary,T2T-5C7, Canada. email@example.com
In a cohort study of 1207 pregnant women in Alberta, Canada, the serotype distributions of vaginal-rectal group B Streptococcus (GBS) isolates were compared with all isolates from neonates with invasive GBS disease identified by population-based surveillance. Serum concentrations of Ia, Ib, II, III, and V capsular polysaccharide (CPS)-specific IgG also were determined, according to serotype of the vaginal-rectal colonizing GBS strain. GBS colonization was detected in 19.5% (235 of 1207) of women. Serotype III accounted for 20.6% (48 of 233) of colonizing strains available for typing but for 37% (27 of 73) of invasive isolates from neonates (P
A total of 2,245 clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae were collected from 63 microbiology laboratories from across Canada during 2000 and characterized at a central laboratory. Of these isolates, 12.4% were not susceptible to penicillin (penicillin MIC, >or=0.12 microg/ml) and 5.8% were resistant (MIC, >or=2 microg/ml). Resistance rates among non-beta-lactam agents were the following: macrolides, 11.1%; clindamycin, 5.7%; chloramphenicol, 2.2%; levofloxacin, 0.9%; gatifloxacin, 0.8%; moxifloxacin, 0.4%; and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, 11.3%. The MICs at which 90% of the isolates were inhibited (MIC90s) of the fluoroquinolones were the following: gemifloxacin, 0.03 microg/ml; BMS-284756, 0.06 microg/ml; moxifloxacin, 0.12 microg/ml; gatifloxacin, 0.25 microg/ml; levofloxacin, 1 microg/ml; and ciprofloxacin, 1 microg/ml. Of 578 isolates from the lower respiratory tract, 21 (3.6%) were inhibited at ciprofloxacin MICs of >or=4 microg/ml. None of the 768 isolates from children were inhibited at ciprofloxacin MICs of >or=4 microg/ml, compared to 3 of 731 (0.6%) from those ages 15 to 64 (all of these >60 years old), and 27 of 707 (3.8%) from those over 65. The MIC90s for ABT-773 and telithromycin were 0.015 microg/ml for macrolide-susceptible isolates and 0.12 and 0.5 microg/ml, respectively, for macrolide-resistant isolates. The MIC of linezolid was
To compare three laboratory screening protocols for the detection of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) from surveillance specimens (mannitol-salt agar containing 2 microg/mL of oxacillin [MSA-2], mannitol-salt agar containing 4 microg/mL of oxacillin [MSA-4], and a broth-containing protocol as recommended by the American Society for Microbiology [M-ASM]).
Blinded comparative laboratory study and cost analysis.
University-affiliated microbiology laboratory.
Outcome measurements included rate of detection of MRSA-positive specimens and patients, turnaround time, and media and technologist costs. All MRSA culture swabs obtained from any patient site from November 1998 to April 1999 were included.
The M-ASM protocol detected between 19.1% and 32.0% more MRSA-positive specimens and between 13.3% and 23.3% more MRSA-positive patients per surveillance event than the MSA-4 and MSA-2 protocols, respectively. There was no difference in positive-culture reporting time between the M-ASM and MSA4 protocols. The broth-containing protocol was 2- to 2.5-fold more expensive than the simpler protocols, taking into account media and laboratory personnel costs.
It remains to be determined whether it is cost beneficial for a hospital to adopt the M-ASM, as the potential cost of MRSA transmission from unidentified MRSA-colonized patients is unknown. A broth-containing protocol should be considered the gold standard in future studies examining newer MRSA screening protocols
Broth microdilution testing of 702 community-acquired isolates of Haemophilus influenzae from across Canada was performed with both Mueller-Hinton broth supplemented with 3% lysed horse blood broth (LHB) (BBL Microbiology Systems, Cockeysville, Md.) and haemophilus test medium (HTM). The prevalence of beta-lactamase production was found to be 26% with no regional variation. MICs determined with LHB tended to be higher than those with HTM, but interpretive errors due to these differences were observed only rarely with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (n = 5), cefaclor (n = 8), and cefamandole (n = 3). The interobserver variability in MIC determinations was found to be greater when LHB was used than when HTM was used. There was no difference in intraobserver variability between the two medium formulations. beta-Lactamase-positive isolates developed false resistance to amoxicillin-clavulanate 2 weeks after microdilution panels of both types of medium were stored at -20 degrees C but not when panels were stored at -70 degrees C. In conclusion, this study supports the use of HTM rather than LHB for sensitivity testing of H. influenzae because of its lower rate of interobserver variability and its ability to support the growth of these organisms, which is comparable to that of LHB.
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