Do isolation rooms reduce the rate of nosocomial infections in the pediatric intensive care unit?

Ron Ben-Abraham, Natan Keller, Oded Szold, Amir Vardi, Marius Weinberg, Zohar Barzilay, Gideon Paret

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


Purpose: To determine the effect of isolation rooms on the direct spread of nosocomial infections (NIs) owing to cross-colonization in a pediatric intensive care unit (PICU). Materials and Methods: This 6-month comparative clinical study used retrospective data from 1992 (an open single-space unit) and prospective surveillance from 1995 (individual rooms) to assess the effectiveness of the latter design on the control of NIs in critically ill pediatric patients. Patients admitted to the PICU for at least 48 hours underwent a microbiologic survey. Results: The average number of NIs per patient was higher in 1992 (3.62 ± 0.7, 78 patients) compared with 1995 (1.87 ± 0.2, 115 patients). Bacterial NIs were caused by gram-positive cocci (33.3%) and aerobic gram-negative bacilli (66.6%). Fungemia in all cases was caused by Candida albicans. Similarly, length of stay was significantly higher in 1992 compared with 1995 (25 ± 6 and 11 ± 6 days, respectively; P < .05). There was a significant reduction of respiratory and urinary tract episodes of NI as well as catheter-related infections in the separate room arrangement. Conclusions: Our preliminary analysis suggests a possible beneficial effect of single isolation rooms in reducing NI rate in the PICU. Hence, the influence of room isolation on NIs in pediatric intensive care warrants further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-180
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Critical Care
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002
Externally publishedYes


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