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1.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1788-e1789, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1383203
3.
Curr Opin Infect Dis ; 35(4): 353-362, 2022 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1948611

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: COVID-19 has catalyzed a wealth of new data on the science of respiratory pathogen transmission and revealed opportunities to enhance infection prevention practices in healthcare settings. RECENT FINDINGS: New data refute the traditional division between droplet vs airborne transmission and clarify the central role of aerosols in spreading all respiratory viruses, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), even in the absence of so-called 'aerosol-generating procedures' (AGPs). Indeed, most AGPs generate fewer aerosols than talking, labored breathing, or coughing. Risk factors for transmission include high viral loads, symptoms, proximity, prolonged exposure, lack of masking, and poor ventilation. Testing all patients on admission and thereafter can identify early occult infections and prevent hospital-based clusters. Additional prevention strategies include universal masking, encouraging universal vaccination, preferential use of N95 respirators when community rates are high, improving native ventilation, utilizing portable high-efficiency particulate air filters when ventilation is limited, and minimizing room sharing when possible. SUMMARY: Multifaceted infection prevention programs that include universal testing, masking, vaccination, and enhanced ventilation can minimize nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 infections in patients and workplace infections in healthcare personnel. Extending these insights to other respiratory viruses may further increase the safety of healthcare and ready hospitals for novel respiratory viruses that may emerge in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aerosols , COVID-19/prevention & control , Delivery of Health Care , Health Personnel , Humans
4.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(12): 2230-2233, 2022 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922208

ABSTRACT

We compared healthcare worker severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection rates between March and August 2020 in 2 similar hospitals with high vs low airborne infection isolation room utilization rates but otherwise identical infection control policies. We found no difference in healthcare worker infection rates between the 2 hospitals, nor between patient-facing vs non-patient-facing providers.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Health Personnel , Hospitals , Humans , Infection Control
5.
Critical care explorations ; 4(5), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1918930

ABSTRACT

IMPORTANCE: The prevalence and causes of sepsis in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are poorly characterized. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the prevalence, clinical characteristics, and outcomes of sepsis caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) versus other pathogens in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Cross-sectional, retrospective chart review of 200 randomly selected patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at four Massachusetts hospitals between March 2020 and March 2021. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The presence or absence of sepsis was determined per Sepsis-3 criteria (infection leading to an increase in Sequential Organ Failure Assessment score by ≥ 2 points above baseline). Sepsis episodes were assessed as caused by SARS-CoV-2, other pathogens, or both. Rates of organ dysfunction and in-hospital death were also assessed. RESULTS: Sepsis was present in 65 of 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations (32.5%), of which 46 of 65 sepsis episodes (70.8%) were due to SARS-CoV-2 alone, 17 of 65 (26.2%) were due to both SARS-CoV-2 and non-SARS-CoV-2 infections, and two of 65 (3.1%) were due to bacterial infection alone. SARS-CoV-2–related organ dysfunction in patients with sepsis occurred a median of 1 day after admission (interquartile range, 0–2 d) and most often presented as respiratory (93.7%), neurologic (46.0%), and/or renal (39.7%) dysfunctions. In-hospital death occurred in 28 of 200 COVID-19 hospitalizations (14.0%), including two of 135 patients without sepsis (1.5%), 16 of 46 patients with sepsis (34.8%) due to SARS-CoV-2 alone, and 10 of 17 patients with sepsis (58.8%) due to both SARS-CoV-2 and bacterial pathogens. CONCLUSIONS: Sepsis occurred in one in three patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and was primarily caused by SARS-CoV-2 itself, although bacterial infection also contributed in a quarter of sepsis cases. Mortality in COVID-19 patients with sepsis was high, especially in patients with mixed SARS-CoV-2 and bacterial sepsis. These findings affirm SARS-CoV-2 as an important cause of sepsis and highlight the need to improve surveillance, recognition, prevention, and treatment of both viral and bacterial sepsis in hospitalized patients with COVID-19.

6.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-7, 2022 Jun 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1915230

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection policies at leading US medical centers in the context of the initial wave of the severe acute respiratory coronavirus virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) omicron variant. DESIGN: Electronic survey study eliciting hospital policies on masking, personal protective equipment, cohorting, airborne-infection isolation rooms (AIIRs), portable HEPA filters, and patient and employee testing. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: "Hospital epidemiologists from U.S. News top 20 hospitals and 10 hospitals in the CDC Prevention Epicenters program."  As it is currently written, it implies all 30 hospitals are from the CDC Prevention Epicenters program, but that only applies to 10 hospitals.  Alternatively, we could just say "Hospital epidemiologists from 30 leading US hospitals." METHODS: Survey results were reported using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: Of 30 hospital epidemiologists surveyed, 23 (77%) completed the survey between February 15 and March 3, 2022. Among the responding hospitals, 18 (78%) used medical masks for universal masking and 5 (22%) used N95 respirators. 16 hospitals (70%) required universal eye protection. 22 hospitals (96%) used N95s for routine COVID-19 care and 1 (4%) reserved N95s for aerosol-generating procedures. 2 responding hospitals (9%) utilized dedicated COVID-19 wards; 8 (35%) used mixed COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 units; and 13 (57%) used both dedicated and mixed units. 4 hospitals (17%) used AIIRs for all COVID-19 patients, 10 (43%) prioritized AIIRs for aerosol-generating procedures, 3 (13%) used alternate risk-stratification criteria (not based on aerosol-generating procedures), and 6 (26%) did not routinely use AIIRs. 9 hospitals (39%) did not use portable HEPA filters, but 14 (61%) used them for various indications, most commonly as substitutes for AIIRs when unavailable or for specific high-risk areas or situations. 21 hospitals (91%) tested asymptomatic patients on admission, but postadmission testing strategies and preferred specimen sites varied substantially. 5 hospitals (22%) required regular testing of unvaccinated employees and 1 hospital (4%) reported mandatory weekly testing even for vaccinated employees during the SARS-CoV-2 omicron surge. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 infection control practices in leading hospitals vary substantially. Clearer public health guidance and transparency around hospital policies may facilitate more consistent national standards.

7.
J Infect Dis ; 2022 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1886456
8.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1816038
9.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(9): 1240-1251, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1789654

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Several U.S. hospitals had surges in COVID-19 caseload, but their effect on COVID-19 survival rates remains unclear, especially independent of temporal changes in survival. OBJECTIVE: To determine the association between hospitals' severity-weighted COVID-19 caseload and COVID-19 mortality risk and identify effect modifiers of this relationship. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04688372). SETTING: 558 U.S. hospitals in the Premier Healthcare Database. PARTICIPANTS: Adult COVID-19-coded inpatients admitted from March to August 2020 with discharge dispositions by October 2020. MEASUREMENTS: Each hospital-month was stratified by percentile rank on a surge index (a severity-weighted measure of COVID-19 caseload relative to pre-COVID-19 bed capacity). The effect of surge index on risk-adjusted odds ratio (aOR) of in-hospital mortality or discharge to hospice was calculated using hierarchical modeling; interaction by surge attributes was assessed. RESULTS: Of 144 116 inpatients with COVID-19 at 558 U.S. hospitals, 78 144 (54.2%) were admitted to hospitals in the top surge index decile. Overall, 25 344 (17.6%) died; crude COVID-19 mortality decreased over time across all surge index strata. However, compared with nonsurging (<50th surge index percentile) hospital-months, aORs in the 50th to 75th, 75th to 90th, 90th to 95th, 95th to 99th, and greater than 99th percentiles were 1.11 (95% CI, 1.01 to 1.23), 1.24 (CI, 1.12 to 1.38), 1.42 (CI, 1.27 to 1.60), 1.59 (CI, 1.41 to 1.80), and 2.00 (CI, 1.69 to 2.38), respectively. The surge index was associated with mortality across ward, intensive care unit, and intubated patients. The surge-mortality relationship was stronger in June to August than in March to May (slope difference, 0.10 [CI, 0.033 to 0.16]) despite greater corticosteroid use and more judicious intubation during later and higher-surging months. Nearly 1 in 4 COVID-19 deaths (5868 [CI, 3584 to 8171]; 23.2%) was potentially attributable to hospitals strained by surging caseload. LIMITATION: Residual confounding. CONCLUSION: Despite improvements in COVID-19 survival between March and August 2020, surges in hospital COVID-19 caseload remained detrimental to survival and potentially eroded benefits gained from emerging treatments. Bolstering preventive measures and supporting surging hospitals will save many lives. PRIMARY FUNDING SOURCE: Intramural Research Program of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the National Cancer Institute.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Adrenal Cortex Hormones/therapeutic use , Adult , COVID-19/therapy , Critical Care/statistics & numerical data , Female , Hospital Bed Capacity/statistics & numerical data , Hospital Mortality , Humans , Male , Odds Ratio , Respiration, Artificial , Retrospective Studies , Risk Assessment , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2 , Survival Rate , United States/epidemiology
10.
Clin Infect Dis ; 2022 Feb 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1769233

ABSTRACT

The highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant increases risk for nosocomial transmission despite universal masking, admission testing, and symptom screening. We report large increases in hospital-onset infections and 2 unit-based clusters. The clusters rapidly abated after instituting universal N95 respirators and daily testing. Broader use of these strategies may prevent nosocomial transmissions.

11.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(6): 1097-1100, 2022 03 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705124

ABSTRACT

We assessed severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission between patients in shared rooms in an academic hospital between September 2020 and April 2021. In total, 11 290 patients were admitted to shared rooms, of whom 25 tested positive. Among 31 exposed roommates, 12 (39%) tested positive within 14 days. Transmission was associated with polymerase chain reaction (PCR) cycle thresholds ≤21.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Academic Medical Centers , Hospitalization , Humans , Risk Factors
12.
Clin Infect Dis ; 74(3): 529-531, 2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1684549

ABSTRACT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends N95 respirators for all providers who see patients with possible or confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We suggest that N95 respirators may be just as important for the care of patients without suspected COVID-19 when community incidence rates are high. This is because severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is most contagious before symptom onset. Ironically, by the time patients are sick enough to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, they tend to be less contagious. The greatest threat of transmission in healthcare facilities may therefore be patients and healthcare workers with early occult infection. N95 respirators' superior fit and filtration provide superior exposure protection for healthcare providers seeing patients with early undiagnosed infection and superior source control to protect patients from healthcare workers with early undiagnosed infection. The probability of occult infection in patients and healthcare workers is greatest when community incidence rates are high. Universal use of N95 respirators may help decrease nosocomial transmission at such times.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Masks , N95 Respirators , SARS-CoV-2
14.
Critical Care Medicine ; 50:50-50, 2022.
Article in English | Academic Search Complete | ID: covidwho-1592237

ABSTRACT

B Introduction/Hypothesis: b Clinical practice has evolved from early intubation for COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) to preferential trialing of ventilator-sparing oxygen support. These data support trialing non-invasive oxygen support in most COVID-19 patients with ARDS and proceeding to intubation when clinically necessary. B Conclusions: b After rigorous accounting for time-varying confounding by severity-of-illness, intubation was associated with a similar risk of mortality as ventilator-sparing oxygen support in COVID-19 patients with ARDS. [Extracted from the article] Copyright of Critical Care Medicine is the property of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full . (Copyright applies to all s.)

16.
Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol ; : 1-3, 2021 Oct 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1507025

ABSTRACT

Management of critically ill coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients has evolved considerably during the pandemic. We investigated rates and causes of ventilator-associated events (VAEs) in COVID-19 patients in the late versus early waves in 4 Massachusetts hospitals. VAE rates per episode decreased, rates per ventilator day were stable, and most cases were caused by acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

17.
Ann Intern Med ; 174(12): 1710-1718, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506230

ABSTRACT

Policies to prevent respiratory virus transmission in health care settings have traditionally divided organisms into Droplet versus Airborne categories. Droplet organisms (for example, influenza) are said to be transmitted via large respiratory secretions that rapidly fall to the ground within 1 to 2 meters and are adequately blocked by surgical masks. Airborne pathogens (for example, measles), by contrast, are transmitted by aerosols that are small enough and light enough to carry beyond 2 meters and to penetrate the gaps between masks and faces; health care workers are advised to wear N95 respirators and to place these patients in negative-pressure rooms. Respirators and negative-pressure rooms are also recommended when caring for patients with influenza or SARS-CoV-2 who are undergoing "aerosol-generating procedures," such as intubation. An increasing body of evidence, however, questions this framework. People routinely emit respiratory particles in a range of sizes, but most are aerosols, and most procedures do not generate meaningfully more aerosols than ordinary breathing, and far fewer than coughing, exercise, or labored breathing. Most transmission nonetheless occurs at close range because virus-laden aerosols are most concentrated at the source; they then diffuse and dilute with distance, making long-distance transmission rare in well-ventilated spaces. The primary risk factors for nosocomial transmission are community incidence rates, viral load, symptoms, proximity, duration of exposure, and poor ventilation. Failure to appreciate these factors may lead to underappreciation of some risks (for example, overestimation of the protection provided by medical masks, insufficient attention to ventilation) or misallocation of limited resources (for example, reserving N95 respirators and negative-pressure rooms only for aerosol-generating procedures or requiring negative-pressure rooms for all patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection regardless of stage of illness). Enhanced understanding of the factors governing respiratory pathogen transmission may inform the development of more effective policies to prevent nosocomial transmission of respiratory pathogens.


Subject(s)
Infection Control/methods , Respiratory Tract Infections/transmission , Respiratory Tract Infections/virology , Aerosols , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Cross Infection/prevention & control , Cross Infection/virology , Health Policy , Humans , Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/prevention & control , Influenza, Human/transmission , Influenza, Human/virology , Masks , Personnel, Hospital , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology , Ventilation
18.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(9): 1693-1695, 2021 11 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1501057

ABSTRACT

We describe 3 instances of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission despite medical masks and eye protection, including transmission despite the source person being masked, transmission despite the exposed person being masked, and transmission despite both parties being masked. Whole genome sequencing confirmed perfect homology between source and exposed persons' viruses in all cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Delivery of Health Care , Humans , Masks
20.
Clin Infect Dis ; 73(7): e1878-e1880, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1455258

ABSTRACT

Many patients are fearful of acquiring coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in hospitals and clinics. We characterized the risk of COVID-19 among 226 patients exposed to healthcare workers with confirmed COVID-19. One patient may have been infected, suggesting that the risk of COVID-19 transmission from healthcare workers to patients is generally low.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Health Personnel , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
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