MULTICENTER STUDY
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A national point-prevalence survey of pediatric intensive care unit-acquired infections in the United States.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of intensive care unit-acquired infections, a major cause of morbidity in pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) patients.

METHODS: Pediatric Prevention Network hospitals (n = 31) participated in a point-prevalence survey on August 4, 1999. Data collected for all PICU inpatients included demographics, infections, therapeutic interventions, and outcomes.

RESULTS: There were 512 patients in 35 PICUs. The median age was 2.2 years (range, <1 day-35.4 years). Seventy-five PICU-acquired infections occurred among 61 (11.9%) patients. The most frequently reported sites were bloodstream (31 [41.3%]), lower respiratory tract (17 [22.7%]), urinary tract (10 [13.3%]), or skin/soft tissue (6 [8.0%]). The most frequent pathogens were coagulase-negative staphylococci (in 16 [21.3%] infections), Candida spp. (13 [17.3%]), enterococci (10 [13.3%]), Staphylococcus aureus (9 [12.0%]), or Pseudomonas aeruginosa (8 [10.7%]). Age-adjusted risk factors for infection included central intravenous catheters (relative risk [RR], 4.1; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 2.4-7.1), arterial catheters (RR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.5-3.9), total parenteral nutrition (RR, 5.5; 95% CI, 3.6-8.5), or mechanical ventilation (RR, 3.9; 95% CI, 2.2-6.8). Infection was associated with higher age-adjusted risk of death within 4 weeks of the survey (RR, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.7-6.5).

CONCLUSIONS: This national multicenter study documented the high prevalence of PICU-acquired infections. Preventing these infections should be a national priority.

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