Theses Doctoral

Healthcare-Associated Infection and Exposure to Infected or Colonized Concurrent Roommates and Prior Bed Occupants

Cohen, Bevin A.

This dissertation examines factors associated with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) in four acute care hospitals located in New York City. Specifically, this investigation focuses on the role that the physical environment plays with regard to patient-to-patient transmission.
The initial analyses describe the scope of the problem by reporting the incidence of HAIs and antimicrobial resistance over a seven-year period in the study institutions. In total, 19,052 HAIs were identified among 761,426 discharges. HAI rates fell over time within all hospitals and for all organisms and infection types included in the study, and the odds of acquiring an HAI decreased significantly over time for all organisms. Resistance levels were stable for Enterococcus spp., Staphylococcus aureus, Acinetobacter baumannii, and Streptococcus pneumoniae. Multidrug resistance increased for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and decreased for Klebsiella pneumoniae, though imipenem resistance among K. pneumoniae climbed sharply in 2011.
A systematic literature review is presented to summarize what is known and unknown about how patients’ exposure to infected or colonized concurrent roommates and prior bed occupants affects their risk of developing HAIs. Eighteen articles meeting the inclusion criteria were identified. More than half reported at least one statistically significant positive association between the infection/colonization status of a roommate or previous room occupant and the development of HAIs. Only a single article identified a statistically significant negative association. The remainder found no associations that reached statistical significance, though this may be due to the fact that they were insufficiently powered.
The dissertation concludes with a matched case-control study designed to quantify the association between having a prior bed occupant or roommate with a positive blood, respiratory, urine, or wound culture and subsequent infection with the same organism. In a multivariable analysis controlling for patient characteristics and mutually controlling for each exposure, the odds of being exposed to a prior bed occupant with the same organism were 5.83 (95% Confidence Interval [3.62, 9.39]) times greater for cases versus controls and the odds of being exposed to a roommate with the same organism were 4.82 [3.67, 6.34] times greater.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Larson, Elaine
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
December 12, 2017