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Epidemic bacteremia due to Acinetobacter baumannii in five intensive care units


From March 5, 1986 to September 4, 1987, Acinetobacter baumannii (AB) was isolated from blood or vascular catheter-tip cultures of 75 patients in five intensive care units at a hospital in New Jersey. To identify risk factors for AB bacteremia in the intensive care units, a case-control study was conducted. Characteristics of 72 case-patients were compared with those of 37 controls. Case-patients were more likely than controls to have had peripheral arterial catheters (odds ratio (OR) = 7.0, p less than 0.001), mechanical ventilation (OR = 5.8, p less than 0.001), hyperalimentation (OR = 5.7, p less than 0.001), or pulmonary arterial catheters (OR = 3.9, p less than 0.001). Arterial catheters were used with reusable pressure transducers for intravascular pressure monitoring. A logistic regression analysis identified four independent risk factors: transducers, ventilation, hyperalimentation, and days of transducer use at an insertion site. The strongest influence on the risk of AB bacteremia was exerted by number of days of transducer usage. Cultures of 70 transducer diaphragms or domes, 42 in-use and 28 in-storage, were positive for AB in 21% and 46%, respectively. Plasmid analysis showed that patient blood cultures and transducer isolates were identical. Transducers were wiped with alcohol in the units between patient uses. Since reusable transducers appeared to be the source of this outbreak, it is recommended that reusable transducers receive either high level disinfection or sterilization between patient uses.

Beck-Sagué CM, Jarvis WR, Brook JH, Culver DH, Potts A, Gay E, Shotts BW, Hill B, Anderson RL, Weinstein MP

Am. J. Epidemiol. 1990 Oct;132(4):723-33

PMID: 2403113