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Risk factors for acquisition of vancomycin-resistant enterococci among patients on a renal ward during a community hospital outbreak


BACKGROUND: During an outbreak of vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection and colonization at a community hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, we performed a case-control study of patients on the hospital’s renal unit to determine risk factors for acquisition of VRE among this potentially high-risk patient population.

METHODS: Twenty-four renal patients with VRE colonization/infection (ie, case-patients) were compared by univariate and multivariate analyses with 29 renal patients with nosocomially acquired vancomycin-susceptible enterococcal infection and colonization (ie, controls).

RESULTS: Age and length of hospitalization were similar between the VRE case-patients and the vancomycin-susceptible enterococcal control-patients, but case-patients had higher Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores and received significantly greater numbers of antimicrobials and significantly more days of antimicrobials during the 60 days preceding the first positive enterococcal culture. In an assessment of the appropriateness of vancomycin use, one third of vancomycin orders were found to be inappropriate in both patient groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data show that among renal patients, those who are severely ill and receive multiple and prolonged courses of antimicrobials are at greatest risk for acquiring VRE infection or colonization. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hospitals develop a comprehensive plan to prevent and control infection and colonization of patients with VRE. This plan should include prompt identification of affected patients, initiation of isolation precautions to prevent patient-to-patient transmission of VRE, and prudent use of antimicrobials, including vancomycin.

Beltrami EM, Singer DA, Fish L, Manning K, Young S, Banerjee SN, Baker R, Jarvis WR

Am J Infect Control 2000 Aug;28(4):282-5

PMID: 10926704