Single room ICU design significantly lowers multidrug-resistant bacteria transmission

Introducing a single-room policy resulted in a decrease in multidrug-resistant bacteria cross transmission in the intensive care unit, according to a study published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control.

Researchers performed a retrospective study over two time periods — between January 2002 and April 2009 in an ICU and between May 2009 and March 2013 in a new single-room design ICU. They performed routine microbiological screenings on all patients admitted to the ICU and then routinely twice a week. The two time periods had identical number of admissions, number of beds and bed occupancy rates per year and month.

For the analysis, researchers included the first isolates per patient that met the multidrug-resistant bacteria criteria detected during the ICU admission.

The study shows that there was a high prevalence of multidrug-resistant bacteria transmission in the ICU between January 2002 and April 2009. However, there was a marked and sustained decrease in the prevalence of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria in the new single-room design ICU.

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