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J Hosp Infect. 2011 Oct;79(2):161-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2011.04.007. Epub 2011 Aug 5.

Efficacy of an infection control programme in reducing nosocomial bloodstream infections in a Senegalese neonatal unit.

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  • 1Service de Pédiatrie, CH Versailles, Le Chesnay, France.


Neonatal nosocomial infections are public health threats in the developing world, and successful interventions are rarely reported. A before-and-after study was conducted in the neonatal unit of the Hôpital Principal de Dakar, Senegal to assess the efficacy of a multi-faceted hospital infection control programme implemented from March to May 2005. The interventions included clustering of nursing care, a simple algorithm for empirical therapy of suspected early-onset sepsis, minimal invasive care and promotion of early discharge of neonates. Data on nosocomial bloodstream infections, mortality, bacterial resistance and antibiotic use were collected before and after implementation of the infection control programme. One hundred and twenty-five infants were admitted immediately before the programme (Period 1, January-February 2005) and 148 infants were admitted immediately after the programme (Period 2, June-July 2005). The two groups of infants were comparable in terms of reason for admission and birth weight. After implementation of the infection control programme, the overall rate of nosocomial bloodstream infections decreased from 8.8% to 2.0% (P=0.01), and the rate of nosocomial bloodstream infections/patient-day decreased from 10.9 to 2.9/1000 patient-days (P=0.03). Overall mortality rates did not differ significantly. The proportion of neonates who received antimicrobial therapy for suspected early-onset sepsis decreased significantly from 100% to 51% of at-risk infants (P<0.001). The incidence of drug-resistant bacteria was significantly lower after implementation of the programme (79% vs 12%; P<0.001), and remained low one year later. In this neonatal unit, simple, low-cost and sustainable interventions led to the control of a high incidence of bacterial nosocomial bloodstream infections, and the efficacy of these interventions was long-lasting. Such interventions could be extended to other low-income countries.

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