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Research shows single-patient rooms reduce hospital infections in ICU
Date:1/11/2011

This release is available in French.

Montreal, January 10, 2011 A research team from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and McGill University has demonstrated that private rooms in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) play a key role in reducing hospital infections like C-difficile. The study, published today in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, also suggests that length of stay would be shorter and this could lead to cost savings to the healthcare system.

Infection control in hospitals is a worldwide health concern that can have a serious impact on patient morbidity, mortality and the cost of treatment particularly in the ICU, where patients are highly susceptible to infection. Single-patient rooms have long been considered to provide patients with better protection from hospital infections. However, previous studies investigating this issue have been inconclusive. "We had a valuable opportunity to examine the rates of acquisition of infection in patients during a change from multi-bed to single rooms in the ICU at the MUHC," explains Dana Teltsch, lead author of the study and Ph.D. candidate in the Dept. of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill.

The results show that the infection acquisition rate after room privatization fell about 50 percent for three bacteria of most concern Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), C-difficile and Enterococcus (VRE). "We also observed a 10 percent reduction in the length of stay in the ICU after changing to private rooms. These findings provide a basis of comparison of the savings versus the costs to the healthcare system on top of the health benefits to patients," said Teltsch. It is estimated each case of C. difficile can cost of up to $7000 per episode.

"This study is the first evaluation of the full range of the benefits of private rooms in an ICU environment a
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Contact: Julie Robert
julie.robert@muhc.mcgill.ca
514-843-1560
McGill University Health Centre
Source:Eurekalert

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