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Infectious Disease

Sharing a Hospital Room Increases Risk of 'Super Bugs'

9 years, 4 months ago

1533  0
Posted on Jan 12, 2010, 6 a.m.

Queen's University (Canada) study finds that staying in a multi-bed hospital room dramatically increases the risk of acquiring a serious infectious disease and concludes that private rooms confer reduced exposures.


In that the potential for transmission of health care–associated infections (HAIs) in the hospital setting poses serious medical risks to patients, Dick Zoutman, from Queens University (Ontario, Canada), and colleagues evaluated the association between roommate exposures and the risk of HAIs.  The researchers studied a group of adult patients admitted to a Canadian teaching hospital between June 30, 2001, and December 31, 2005. The team characterized exposures were characterized as total daily roommate exposures and daily unique roommate exposures, tracking for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE), and Clostridium difficile.  They found that the number of roommate exposures per day was significantly associated with MRSA and VRE infection or colonization, and a significant association also was found for number of unique roommate exposures per day and VRE as well.  Writing that: “The significant associations found between daily roommate exposures and the infection outcomes suggest a possible role for limiting patient-to-patient contact in an infection prevention and control program in this facility,” the team urges that: “These findings have implications for the deployment and design of acute care hospitals.”

Meghan Hamel, Dick Zoutman, Chris O'Callaghan. “Exposure to hospital roommates as a risk factor for health care-associated infection.” American Journal of Infection Control, 21 December 2009; DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2009.08.016.

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