Common infection control practices in the emergency department

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“The purpose of this review was to examine published literature regarding adherence rates among ED personnel to selected infection control practices, including hand hygiene (HH) and aseptic technique during the placement of central venous catheters and urinary catheters.” Carter et al (2014).

Reference:

Carter, E.J., Pouch, S.M. and Larson, E.L. (2014) Common infection control practices in the emergency department: A literature review. American Journal of Infection Control. 42(9), p.957-62.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are a major health concern, despite being largely avoidable. The emergency department (ED) is an essential component of the health care system and subject to workflow challenges, which may hinder ED personnel adherence to guideline-based infection prevention practices.

METHODS: The purpose of this review was to examine published literature regarding adherence rates among ED personnel to selected infection control practices, including hand hygiene (HH) and aseptic technique during the placement of central venous catheters and urinary catheters. We also reviewed studies reporting rates of ED equipment contamination. PubMed was searched for studies that included adherence rates among ED personnel to HH during routine patient care, aseptic technique during the placement of central venous catheters and urinary catheters, and rates of equipment contamination.

RESULTS: In total, 853 studies was screened, and 589 abstracts were reviewed. The full texts of 36 papers were examined, and 23 articles were identified as meeting inclusion criteria. Eight studies used various scales to measure HH compliance, which ranged from 7.7% to 89.7%. Seven articles examined central venous catheters inserted in the ED or by emergency medicine residents. Detail of aseptic technique practices during urinary catheterization was lacking. Four papers described equipment contamination in the ED.

CONCLUSION: Standardized methods and definitions of compliance monitoring are needed to compare results across settings.

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