“We determined whether bloodstream infection (BSI) occurred more frequently in children admitted to PICU after inter-hospital transfer compared to within-hospital admissions.” Harron et al (2014).
Harron, K., Mok, Q., Parslow, R., Muller-Pebody, B., Gilbert, R. and Ramnarayan, P. (2014) Risk of bloodstream infection in children admitted to paediatric intensive care units in England and Wales following emergency inter-hospital transfer. Intensive Care Medicine. October 21st. .
PURPOSE: Adherence to full sterile procedures may be compromised when central venous catheters are inserted as part of emergency resuscitation and stabilisation, particularly outside the intensive care unit. Half of emergency admissions to paediatric intensive care units (PICU) in the UK occur after stabilisation at other hospitals. We determined whether bloodstream infection (BSI) occurred more frequently in children admitted to PICU after inter-hospital transfer compared to within-hospital admissions.
METHODS: Data on emergency admissions to 20 PICUs in England and Wales for children
RESULTS: A total of 32,861/62,515 (53 %) admissions were inter-hospital transfers. Multivariable regression showed no significant difference in rates of PICU-acquired BSI by source of admission (incidence-rate ratio for inter-hospital transfer versus within-hospital admission = 0.97; 95 % CI 0.87-1.07) after adjusting for other risk-factors. Rates decreased more rapidly between 2003 and 2012 for inter-hospital transfers: 17.0 % (95 % CI 14.9-19.0 % per year) compared with 12.4 % (95 % CI 9.9-14.9 % per year) for within-hospital admissions. The median time to first PICU-acquired BSI did not differ significantly between inter-hospital transfers (7 days; IQR 4-13) and within-hospital admissions (8 days; IQR 4-15).
CONCLUSIONS: Nationally, inter-hospital transfer is no longer a significant risk factor for PICU-acquired BSI. Given the large proportion of infection occurring in the second week of admission, initiatives to further reduce PICU-acquired BSI should focus on maintaining sterile procedures after admission.
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