An outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus in a pediatric cardiothoracic surgery unit

Stefan Weber, Loreen A. Herwaldt, Louise Anne McNutt, Paul Rhomberg, Pierre Vaudaux, Michael A. Pfaller, Trish M. Perl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate an outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus surgical-site infections. DESIGN: Case-control study. SETTING: Pediatric cardiothoracic surgery service of a tertiary-care university medical center. METHOD: Molecular typing was used to identify healthcare workers who carried the epidemic strain. RESULTS: Three children acquired surgical-site infections caused by a single strain of S. aureus. Fourteen (25%) of the staff members in the operating room and 17 (11%) on nursing units carried the epidemic strain (P =.01). A case-control study identified 4 healthcare workers who were associated statistically with the outbreak, 2 of whom (a cardiothoracic surgeon and a perfusionist) carried the epidemic strain in their nares. The surgeon also carried the epidemic strain on his hands. Each staff member who carried the epidemic strain was treated with mupirocin; those carrying the strain on their hands were required to wash their hands with chlorhexidine, The surgeon was not allowed to perform surgery until 2 of his hand cultures did not grow S. aureus. CONCLUSIONS: Only three children were infected with the epidemic strain, but it was disseminated widely among staff who cared for children who underwent cardiothoracic surgery. No additional cases were identified after staff members who carried the epidemic strain were decolonized. Both classic epidemiologic methods and molecular typing techniques were necessary to identify the source and extent of this outbreak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalInfection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Volume23
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

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Disease Outbreaks
Staphylococcus aureus
Pediatrics
Hand
Surgical Wound Infection
Molecular Typing
Case-Control Studies
Mupirocin
Delivery of Health Care
Epidemiologic Methods
Chlorhexidine
Tertiary Healthcare
Operating Rooms
Nursing
Surgeons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

An outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus in a pediatric cardiothoracic surgery unit. / Weber, Stefan; Herwaldt, Loreen A.; McNutt, Louise Anne; Rhomberg, Paul; Vaudaux, Pierre; Pfaller, Michael A.; Perl, Trish M.

In: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, Vol. 23, No. 2, 01.01.2002, p. 77-81.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Weber, S, Herwaldt, LA, McNutt, LA, Rhomberg, P, Vaudaux, P, Pfaller, MA & Perl, TM 2002, 'An outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus in a pediatric cardiothoracic surgery unit', Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 77-81. https://doi.org/10.1086/501895
Weber S, Herwaldt LA, McNutt LA, Rhomberg P, Vaudaux P, Pfaller MA et al. An outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus in a pediatric cardiothoracic surgery unit. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2002 Jan 1;23(2):77-81. https://doi.org/10.1086/501895
Weber, Stefan ; Herwaldt, Loreen A. ; McNutt, Louise Anne ; Rhomberg, Paul ; Vaudaux, Pierre ; Pfaller, Michael A. ; Perl, Trish M. / An outbreak of Staphylococcus aureus in a pediatric cardiothoracic surgery unit. In: Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2002 ; Vol. 23, No. 2. pp. 77-81.
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