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An Pediatr (Barc). 2011 Jul;75(1):21-5. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2011.02.006. Epub 2011 Mar 24.

[Isolation precautions in a tertiary paediatric hospital].

[Article in Spanish]

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Servicio de Pediatría, Hospital Universitario Vall d'Hebron, Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, España.



Isolation is one of the measures to prevent the spread of nosocomial infections. However, in children's hospitals, given the type of patients and infections, and the architectural features of hospital wards, isolation precautions are sometimes difficult to implement and enforce.


An observational, descriptive study was conducted on the isolation precautions taken at the Children's Hospital Vall d'Hebron in Barcelona, from January to December, 2007. The isolation precautions applied were those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the USA, and those of the Department of Health of the Generalitat de Cataluña.


Of the patients admitted during the study period, 5.4% needed isolation. The General Paediatrics ward generated the highest number of isolations (10.7%). The most frequently microorganisms needing isolation precautions were respiratory syncytial virus and rotavirus. Contact precautions was the type of isolation most applied (90% of isolations). The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Paediatric Oncology and Haematology Service were the areas with a greater number of patients isolated due to infection or colonization by multiresistant bacteria (48% and 67% of the isolations, respectively).


The implementation of a surveillance and infection control program is essential to reduce the rate of hospital-acquired infections. Knowledge of the frequency of isolated patients at each centre and the availability of resources for the correct application of isolation precautions are fundamental for these goals to be achieved.

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