Zachary M Most, Bethany Phillips, Michael E Sebert

Discontinuation of Contact Precautions for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a Pediatric Healthcare System

  • Infectious Diseases
  • General Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Abstract Background Many hospitals caring for adult patients have discontinued the requirement for contact precautions (CP) for patients with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection or colonization without reported negative effects. It is not clear whether this experience can be extrapolated to pediatric facilities. Methods CP for MRSA were discontinued in all locations except the neonatal intensive care unit at a three-hospital pediatric healthcare system in September 2019. All hospitalized patients underwent surveillance for LabID healthcare facility-onset MRSA infections. Analysis was done using interrupted time series (ITS) from September 2017 through August 2023 and aggregate before-and-after rate ratios. Results There were 234 incident healthcare-facility onset MRSA infections during 766,020 patient-days of surveillance. After discontinuation of CP for MRSA there was no change in the ITS slope (0.06, 95% CI -0.35-0.47, P = 0.78) or intercept (0.21, 95% CI -0.36-0.78, P = 0.47) of the LabID healthcare facility-onset MRSA infection incidence density rate. Additionally, there was no change in the aggregate incidence density rate of these MRSA LabID events (aggregate rate ratio = 0.98, 95% CI 0.74-1.28). MRSA nasal colonization among patients being screened before cardiac surgery did not change (aggregate rate ratio = 0.94, 95% CI 0.60-1.48). The prevalence rate of contact isolation days decreased by 14.0%. Conclusions Discontinuation of CP for pediatric patients with MRSA was not associated with increased MRSA infection over four years. Our experience supports considering discontinuation of CP for MRSA in similar pediatric healthcare settings in the context of good adherence to horizontal infection prevention measures.

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