Comparison of Nosocomial Infection Rates in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Before and After Moving to a New Location

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Yong-Chuan Chen, RN
Department of NUrsing, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan
Fang-Liang Huang, MD
Department of Pediatric, Taichung Veterans General, Taichung, Taiwan
Juei-Chao Chen, PhD
Institute of Statistics, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taichung, Taiwan

Learning Objective 1: Health promotion in a clinical setting (NICU location)

Learning Objective 2: Prevent infection in a clinical setting (NICU location)

Purpose: The study investigated changes in nosocomial infection rates, infection sites, and bacterial species in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) before and after moving to a new location at a tertiary hospital in central Taiwan. 

Methods: We adopted a retrospective research design; 212 qualified infants were recruited as subjects between November 2009 and October 2011; 90 had been admitted to the old NICU (old NICU group); 122 had spent time in the new facility (new NICU group). We compared nosocomial infection rates and identified differences in infection sites and bacterial species. Research tools included a baseline data sheet and infection data from the hospital infection control committee. Data were analyzed using SPSS 15.0 for Windows.

Results: There were no significant differences between the two groups in terms of demographic variables, gestational age, birth body weight, and length of hospital stay; The average gestational age was lower in the new NICU group; The average nosocomial infection rate decreased from 5.95 cases per 1000 patient-days in the old NICU group to 4.73 cases per 1000 patient-days in the new NICU group (p= .001). Blood and the urinary tract were the most frequent infection sites in both NICU locations. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) (30.52%) was the most frequent pathogen in the old NICU; MRSA (19.82%) and P. aeruginosa (18.8%) were the most frequent pathogens in the new NICU.

Conclusion: The change in environment and adequate hand-washing facilities may have been primary factors in reducing the nosocomial infection rate at the new NICU. The change in type of pathogens between the two locations emphasizes the importance of taking preventive measures to minimize nosocomial infection risks and initiate prompt treatment of infected patients in a new facility.