Researchers Advise Evaluating Post-Discharge Risks of HAIs

Rupak Datta, MPH, and Susan S. Huang, MD, MPH, from the Division of Infectious Diseases and Health Policy Research Institute at the University of California Irvine School of Medicine, encourage practitioners to evaluate post-discharge risks of healthcare-associated infection (HAI). They say that vancomycinresistant Enterococcus (VRE) is a significant source of HAIs and causes substantial morbidity and mortality among immunosuppressed patients. They add that because VRE carriage is often prolonged, more studies assessing post-discharge risks of VRE infection are needed.

Datta and Huang (2010) sought to assess the risk of VRE infection among all newly detected carriers both during hospitalization in and after discharge from an academic medical center. Their research was published in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology.

They conducted a retrospective cohort study of 199 patients newly detected as VRE carriers, and report that 15 patients (8 percent) developed 27 VRE infections in the 18 months after detection. Among 10 postdischarge infections, two involved bacteremia and three resulted in re-admission.

Reference: Datta R and Huang SS. Risk of Postdischarge Infection with VancomycinResistant Enterococcus after Initial Infection or Colonization. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2010;31:1290-1293.