Efficacy of environmental measures to decrease the risk of hospital-acquired aspergillosis in patients hospitalised in haematology wards

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This study evaluated a multidisciplinary strategy to decrease the rate of invasive pulmonary aspergillosis (IPA) among adult patients hospitalised in two haematology wards in a single 560-bed building at the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne. Upgrading of the air filtration system and construction of an air-lock chamber at the entrance to the unit were completed during 1994. In 1995, specific hygienic measures were introduced during hospital building work, including the use of plastic barriers, watering during demolition work, reduction of pedestrian traffic in construction areas, and the wearing of high-efficiency filtration masks by immunosuppressed patients when outside the protected unit. This strategy was evaluated by a prospective survey of IPA cases between 1993 and 2001, coupled with environmental surveillance. The number and risk-level of hospital renovation projects increased between 1995 and 2001 (p < 0.01). In parallel, the rate of IPA decreased globally in the haematology unit from 0.85% (1.19/1000 patients) in 1993 to 0.28% (0.21/1000 patients) in 2001. The incidence of IPA decreased significantly between 1993–1996 and 1997–2001 (p 0.02, Mann–Whitney test). These results show that a multidisciplinary approach involving engineers, infection control practitioners, mycologists and clinicians enables IPA rates among patients hospitalised in haematology wards to be significantly decreased.

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