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Unintended consequences of infection prevention and control measures during COVID-19 pandemic.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:In the current COVID-19 pandemic, aggressive Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures have been adopted to prevent healthcare-associated transmission of COVID-19. We evaluated the impact of a multi-modal IPC strategy originally designed for the containment of COVID-19 on the rates of other hospital-acquired-infections (HAIs). METHODOLOGY:From February-August 2020, a multi-modal IPC strategy was implemented across a large healthcare campus in Singapore, comprising improved segregation of patients with respiratory symptoms, universal masking and heightened adherence to Standard Precautions. The following rates of HAI were compared pre- and post-pandemic: healthcare-associated respiratory-viral-infection (HA-RVI), MRSA and CP-CRE acquisition rates, healthcare-facility-associated C.difficile infections (HCFA-CDI) and device-associated HAIs. RESULTS:Enhanced IPC measures introduced to contain COVID-19 had the unintended positive consequence of containing HA-RVI. The cumulative incidence of HA-RVI decreased from 9.69 cases per 10,000 patient-days to 0.83 cases per 10,000 patient-days (incidence-rate-ratio=0.08; 95%CI=0.05-0.13, p<0.05). Hospital-wide MRSA acquisition rates declined significantly during the pandemic (incidence-rate-ratio=0.54, 95%CI=0.46-0.64, p<0.05), together with central-line-associated-bloodstream infection (CLABSI) rates (incidence-rate-ratio=0.24, 95%CI=0.07-0.57, p<0.05); likely due to increased compliance with Standard Precautions. Despite the disruption caused by the pandemic, there was no increase in CP-CRE acquisition, and rates of other HAIs remained stable. CONCLUSION:Multimodal IPC strategies can be implemented at scale to successfully mitigate healthcare-associated transmission of RVIs. Good adherence to personal-protective-equipment and hand hygiene kept other HAI rates stable even during an ongoing pandemic where respiratory infections were prioritized for interventions.

SUBMITTER: Wee LE 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7610096 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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