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BD Medical, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), announces that results from a new independent study of acute-care hospitals show higher rates of C. difficile (C. diff) infection among hospitals that use reusable sharps containers. A poster presentation on the results of the analysis was presented by Monika Pogorzelska-Maziarz, PhD, MPH, assistant professor at the Jefferson School of Nursing, at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), taking place June 27-29 at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn.
The study analyzed data from the results of a national survey of hospitals in the U.S. conducted in December 2013, with survey responses linked to the FY201Medicare Provider Analysis and Review (MedPAR) data set1. According to the analysis, hospitals that used single-use containers had significantly lower rates of C. diff as compared to those using reusable containers, with an Incidence Rate Ratio (IRR)=0.8701 (which translates to nearly a 15 percent difference in the prevalence of C. diff infection rates).
he study was based on completed surveys from more than 600 U.S. hospitals. In multivariable regression, data showed that hospitals with single-use sharps disposal containers had significantly lower rates of C. diff infections versus hospitals with reusable containers after controlling for several hospital characteristics1.
"The use of containers to properly dispose of sharps in the health care setting is a critical component of most occupational safety programs in healthcare settings," said Pogorzelska-Maziarz. "These findings, while they do not confirm a direct correlation between protocols for sharps disposal and risk of healthcare associated infection, do raise important questions about the potential role that reusable sharps containers may play in pathogen transmission."
The burden associated with C. diff infections is at a historic high, with an attributable mortality of more than 29,000 deaths in 2011, according to the Center for Disease Control2 and an estimated annual cost to the U.S. health care system of $4.8 billion. C. diff was selected by Pogorzelska-Maziarz as the organism of interest for this study due to the high morbidity, mortality and costs, as well as the acknowledged role that environmental contamination plays in its transmission.
"Given the widespread use of sharps containers in the healthcare setting, we applaud Dr. Pogorzelska-Maziarz's dedication in working to identify and assess a possible link between the use of single-use containers and lower hospital-wide C. diff infection rates," said Lynne Kelley, MD, FACS, vice president, worldwide medical affairs, BD Medication & Procedural Solutions, BD Medical. "At BD we are continuing to work to identify effective strategies to reduce health care-associated infections. This study provides very compelling new insights demonstrating where infection control protocols might be modified to reduce risk."
This study was commissioned and funded by BD. The design and development of the study were determined by Monika Pogorzelska-Maziarz, PhD, MPH, the results of which are based on Dr. Pogorzelska-Maziarz's analysis of independent data.
1 Pogorzelska-Maziarz, M. The Relationship between Different Types of Sharps Containers and C. difficile Infections Rates in Acute Care Hospitals. Paper presented at: the 42nd Annual Conference of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC); June 27-29; Nashville, TN.
2 Center for Disease Control. Burden of Clostridium difficile Infection in the United States. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2015; 372:825-834 February 26, 2015
3 Dubberke ER, Olsen MA. Burden of Clostridium difficile on the healthcare system. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2012 Aug 1; 55(Suppl 2): S88–S92.