“Bacterial colonization and secondary infection have been described in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. At University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.. since early April 2020, critically ill COVID-19 patients had been housed in 3 dedicated units which included 2 intensive care units (ICUs) and 1 intermediate care unit. Units were designed as closed, negative-pressure areas where staff remained in the same personal protective equipment while providing care to multiple patients.
To accommodate the COVID-19 surge, single-patient ICU rooms frequently housed 2 patients. The [intermediate care unit] remained single-occupancy and received patients for step-down care from [the two ICU units]. Hospital policy required staff to change gloves and perform hand hygiene (or glove hygiene if wearing 2 layers of gloves) between patients and to wear 2 layers of gowns for patients with resistant organisms and remove the outer gown before moving to the next patient. A team nursing model was used.
In mid-May 2020, a cluster of 4 patients with Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) Escherichia coli was identified on one ICU unit and hospital-wide increases in MDR GNB. Prolonged critical illness, high antibiotic and corticosteroid use, double occupancy, the team nursing model, and modified infection prevention practice were considered contributors to transmission, underscoring the importance of vigilance to MDR organisms.”“Rapid Spread and Control of Multidrug-Resistant Gram-Negative Bacteria in COVID-19 Patient Care Units” – University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (A. Patel, M. Emerick, M.K. Cabunoc, M.H. Williams, M.A. Preas); University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore (G. Schrank, R. Rabinowitz, P. Luethy, J.K. Johnson, S. Leekha)
The good news is that we are in the home stretch in our pandemic battle. Let us not let our guard down, as other infections are just around the corner.
Stay strong, use appropriate PPE, wash your hands frequently, and stay well!