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Article
October 24, 1959

SURVEILLANCE AND CONTROL OF STAPHYLOCOCCIC INFECTIONS IN A MATERNITY UNIT

Author Affiliations

Philadelphia; Trenton, N. J.; Lakewood, N. J.

Member of the Epidemic Intelligence Service, Communicable Disease Center, U.S. Public Health Service, Atlanta, Ga. (Dr. Farrer); member of the staff of Maternal and Child Health Programs, Division of Constructive Health, New Jersey State Department of Health (Mr. Russo); Public Health Nurse Consultant, Hospitals, Maternal and Child Health Programs, Division of Constructive Health, New Jersey State Department of Health ( Miss Bavara ); and pathologist at the Paul Kimball Hospital, Lakewood, N. J., and Deborah Hospital, Browns Mills, N. J., and Instructor in Pathology, Seton Hall College of Medicine and Dentistry, Jersey City (Dr. Werthamer). Dr. Farrer is assigned to the Department of Research Medicine, University of Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 1959;171(8):1072-1079. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03010260028006
Abstract

An 84-bed community general hospital with approximately 4,000 admissions and 750 live births per year became aware of a problem of staphylococcic infections when a 2-day-old baby developed a paronychial abscess. During the ensuing seven days 11 newborn infants were found to have pustular lesions yielding similar organisms. The nursery was closed temporarily, and extraordinary efforts were made to eradicate all sources of infection and to eliminate errors of technique. Improvement was only temporary, and the epidemic reached a second peak in June, 1958, when 29 (60%) of 48 deliveries successfully followed up were found to be associated with suppurative infection. Among the measures that were tried, the one that seemed to contribute most to the termination of the epidemic was compulsory rooming-in of the infant with the mother.

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