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Managing and preventing outbreaks of Gram-negative infections in UK neonatal units

Abstract

De novo guidance on the management of Gram-negative bacteria outbreaks in UK neonatal units was developed in 2012 by a Department of Health, England Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection working group. The recommendations included activation of an organisational response and establishing a control team when an outbreak is suspected; screening for the specific organism only during an outbreak; undertaking multidisciplinary reviews of cleaning routines, hand hygiene and Gram-negative bacteria transmission risks; considering deep-cleaning; cohorting colonised and infected babies preferably but not necessarily in isolation cubicles; and considering reducing beds or closing a unit to new admissions as a way of improving spacing and staff:patient ratios until the outbreak is under control. The group advised establishing mechanisms to communicate effectively across the network; informing parents of the outbreak as early as possible, and providing prewritten ‘infection outbreak’ information sheets. For prevention of outbreaks, the group advised meeting national staffing and cot-spacing requirements; following a Water Action Plan; using infection reduction care bundles and benchmarking; and introducing breast milk early and limiting antibiotic use.

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Neonatology
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