VRE Infection Control Measures

David Speers1, Helen Cadwallader2

1Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Hospital Avenue, Nedlands, WA, 6009, david.speers@health.wa.gov.au
2Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Hospital Avenue, Nedlands, WA, 6009, helen.cadwallader@health.wa.gov.au

 

Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections are associated with poorer patient outcomes but the relative benefits and harms of the routine use of screening and placing VRE-colonised patients on contact precautions in hospitals where VRE is endemic has been debated.  Routine screening has a high pathology cost and the placement of colonised patients on contact precautions has personal protective equipment and healthcare worker time costs.  In addition some hospitals have limited numbers of single rooms and there can be a psychological cost to patients placed in isolation.  These costs must be weighed against the increased harm of VRE acquisition to patients.  In Western Australia (WA) a WA Health sanctioned trial has been underway since February 2016 where one adult tertiary hospital has pursued horizontal infection control measures whereas several other adult tertiary hospitals have continued with the WA VRE policy of screening and isolation of colonised patients on higher risk wards.  To ensure long term outcomes are sufficiently accounted for the trial will run for 5 years until the end of January 2021.  Preliminary results will be

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