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Study Shows Single-Patient ICU Rooms Decrease Infection Rates

Patients typically prefer single rooms in the ICU because of the privacy, and a new study suggests such rooms are safer as well.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal, reporting for a study in the Jan. 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, found the rates of infection at Montreal General Hospital dropped significantly after the opening of a new ICU that had only single-patient rooms.

Between 2000 and 2005, based on an analysis of data from 19,343 ICU admissions, the risk of acquiring Clostridium difficile, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant eneterococci was a combined 54% lower at Montreal General than at the ICU in a nearby facility, Royal Victoria Hospital, where many rooms contained multiple patients. Rates of MRSA (47% lower) and C. difficile (43% lower) showed especially significant differences.

In all, the ICU with only single-patient rooms had lower rates of infections by 12 organisms when compared to the ICU at the other hospital. Other noteworthy differences were in Acinetobacter (53% lower), yeast infections (51% lower), Enterobacter (38% lower) and Klebsiella (38% lower).

For patients at Montreal General, the average length of stay during the time span of the study increased by 10% less than the increase at Royal Victoria.

“Conversion to single rooms can substantially reduce the rate at which patients acquire infectious organisms while in the ICU,” the researchers concluded.

By | 2011-01-11T00:00:00-05:00 January 11th, 2011|Categories: Nursing specialties, Specialty|0 Comments

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