Impact of a change in protected environment on the occurrence of severe bacterial and fungal infections in children undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

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Abstract

Background:

Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) is a procedure with a high infection risk. Strict isolation of patients is the rule to prevent such condition.

Objective:

We compared the occurrence of severe infections (bacteremia and invasive fungal infection, IFI) in children undergoing alloHSCT before and after the move to a new protected unit with decreases in isolation methods.

Methods:

The study was conducted over a 10-year period. Unit 1 (2002–2007) consisted of laminar airflow rooms where caregivers were required to wear a sterile outfit (gown, gloves, hat, and mask). Unit 2 (2008–2012) included spacious positive air pressure rooms with HEPA filters where only a clean gown and mask were required to be worn.

Results:

Two hundred eighty-six alloHSCTs were performed (144 in Unit 1 and 142 in Unit 2). We reported a total incidence of 4.78 infections/1000 hospital-days including 4.4 episodes of bacteremia and 0.38 episodes of IFI. There was no statistical difference in the incidence of infections: n = 4.98/1000 hospital-days in Unit 1 vs. n = 4.6/1000 in Unit 2 (P = 0.63).

Conclusion:

The lack of difference in the occurrence of severe infection supports our decision to decrease unnecessary high protection in alloHSCT units to improve children's daily life.

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