Trend of healthcare-associated infections in children: Annual prevalence surveys in a research hospital in Italy, 2007-2010

M. L. Ciofi Degli Atti, M. Cuttini, L. Ravà, J. Ceradini, V. Paolini, G. Ciliento, M. Pomponi, M. Raponi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Annual prevalence surveys of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) between 2007 and 2010 were conducted in the largest tertiary care children's hospital in Italy. During this period, actions to improve HAI prevention were implemented, including strengthened isolation measures; adoption of care bundles for invasive procedures; hand hygiene promotion using the World Health Organization multimodal strategy; and promotion of appropriate antimicrobial use. Aim: To determine the impact of these measures on HAI rates. Methods: A total of 1506 patients were surveyed. Information on patient demographics, mechanical ventilation, central line and urinary catheterization in the preceding 48 h, and surgery in the previous 30 days were abstracted from medical charts. The type and date of onset of HAIs, and microbiological data were recorded. Univariate and multivariate logistic analysis were used to evaluate changes in HAI rates over time, and the influence of ward type and patient characteristics. Findings: There were significant (P <0.001) reductions in the prevalence of patients developing HAI (from 7.6% to 4.3%) and in the prevalence of total HAIs (from 8.6 to 4.3 per 100 patients). Factors independently associated with increased HAI risk were hospitalization in intensive care ward, length of stay >30 days, presence of invasive device, and age 6-11 years. Conclusion: This HAI prevention strategy was influential in decreasing infections among hospitalized children. Repeated prevalence surveys are an effective tool for monitoring HAI frequency, increasing awareness among the healthcare personnel, and contributing to the establishment of effective infection control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-12
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Children
  • Healthcare-associated infection
  • Prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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