Use of personal digital assistants to detect healthcare-associated infections in a neonatal intensive care unit in Egypt
Introduction: Personal digital assistants (PDAs) used in electronic laboratory-based surveillance are a promising alternative to conventional surveillance to detect healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The aim of the study was to monitor, detect, and analyze HAIs using PDAs in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Methodology: In this descriptive study, 1,053 neonates admitted to the NICU in the obstetrics and gynecology ward at the Cairo University hospital were included and evaluated for HAIs by collecting data using PDAs programmed by Naval Medical Research Unit 3, Cairo, with the definitions for HAIs provided by the National Healthcare Safety Network of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Case records were reviewed three times a week over 19 months, from March 2012 to September 2013.
Results: Of 124 suspected episodes of infection recorded in PDAs, 89 confirmed episodes of infection were identified. HAI and NICU infection rates were 7.4 and 2.72/1,000 patient-days, respectively. Primary bloodstream infection was detected in 81 episodes and pneumonia in 8 episodes. The majority of infections (62%) were acquired in the ward before NICU admission. Klebsiella spp. was isolated most frequently (42%), followed by coagulase-negative Staphylococci (31%).
Conclusions: This study is the first to report the use of PDAs in surveillance to detect HAIs in the NICU in our hospital. The majority of infections were acquired at the obstetric care department, indicating the importance of implementing rigorous prevention and control programs and a more detailed surveillance to identify other risk factors for infections.
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