June 1977

Klebsiella pneumoniae Nosocomial Epidemic in an Intensive Care Nursery Due to Contaminated Intravenous Fluid

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island Roger Williams General Hospital Brown University Program in Medicine 50 Maude St Providence, RI 02908

Am J Dis Child. 1977;131(6):712. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1977.02120190106026

Nosocomial colonization and infection with Klebsiella pneumoniae can occur in neonatal intensive care units.1.2 Epidemics associated with intravenous therapy in children and adults3-6 and epidemics related to scalp vein needle contamination in an intensive care nursery have been documented.7 We are reporting a K pneumoniae type 68 epidemic in a neonatal intensive care unit, probably related to contamination of the intravenous fluid, resulting from a breakdown in the technique of handling the intravenous solutions.

Methods.—The epidemic took place in the intensive care nursery of a maternity hospital with 5,000 deliveries and 250 high-risk newborn referrals each year.

The infants were cared for in either incubators or bassinets. Personnel observed the usual hand washing technique using a 3% hexachlorophene solution.

For infants receiving intravenous fluids, the infusion system was changed daily; scalp vein needles were changed only after they had infiltrated and parenteral solutions were prepared

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