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January 6, 1989

Body Surface Cultures in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit

Author Affiliations

University of Rome

University of Rome

JAMA. 1989;261(1):46. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420010056032

To the Editor. —  We have read the article by Evans et al,1 which determined how frequently body surface cultures may identify the infant at risk for sepsis during a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).We would like to report our surveillance survey in an NICU where the incidence of a specific pathogen has been high and where surface cultures could have an important role in identifying the neonates at risk of infection.

Study.—  During the last five years, Pseudomonas aeruginosa has accounted for up to 50% of the infections in the NICU at our institution. We therefore carried out a 12-month survey of the epidemiology of P aeruginosa in our NICU. We prospectively studied 62 newborns who were admitted to the NICU within 24 hours of birth and remained there for at least three days. A total of 2097 samples from the neonates were processed.