Pandemic Controls Reduced Healthcare-Acquired Infections

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Published On: December 1st, 2023Categories: Education & ResourcesTags: , ,

Strict infection prevention and control measures enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic were associated with a significant decrease in many hospital-associated infections (HAIs), according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

The analysis included incidence rates (IRs) of Clostridioides difficile (formerly known as Clostridium difficile), multidrug-resistant organisms, respiratory viral infections (RVIs), and device-related infections at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center from 2016 to 2022.

Researchers found that the incidence of  multidrug-resistant organisms remained stable throughout the period, despite a pandemic. Perhaps more impressive is that a decrease was seen in central-line–associated bloodstream infections and catheter-associated urinary tract infections did not increase during this time. Additionally, a significant reduction was observed  in C difficile infections and nosocomial RVIs in total, as well as for each respiratory virus. 

During community surges of COVID, the incidence of nosocomial RVIs (exclusive of COVID-19 and seasonal offenders respiratory syncytial virus [RSV], and influenza) remained similar to nonsurge periods. 

The researchers concluded that increased use of personal protective equipment, enhanced contact precautions, and an emphasis on hand hygiene led to a significant decrease in healthcare-acquired infections and nosocomial RVIs.