Journal Article

Infection Control in Long-Term Care Facilities

Lindsay E. Nicolle

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 31, issue 3, pages 752-756
Published in print September 2000 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online September 2000 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/314010
Infection Control in Long-Term Care Facilities

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Infections are common in long-term care facilities. The most frequent endemic infections are urinary infection, respiratory infection, and skin and soft tissue infections. Outbreaks also occur frequently, and some facilities have a high prevalence of colonization of residents with antimicrobial-resistant organisms. Our understanding of infections and the development of infection-control programs for long-term care facilities have progressed greatly over the past 15 years. Whereas the occurrence of infections has been described and specific guidelines for infection-control programs in long-term care facilities have been developed, there is still limited evaluation of the effectiveness of programs or specific interventions to support prioritization of infection-control resources. In addition, the spectrum of patients and care delivered in long-term care facilities continues to evolve. Increasingly, chronic care patients, including those requiring chronic respirator therapy, dialysis, or percutaneous feeding tubes, are cared for in these facilities. Our understanding of prevention of infection in these patients remains limited. Important questions include what interventions may prevent endemic infections, what are the most effective means to identify outbreaks early, and what interventions may minimize the prevalence of antimicrobial-resistant organisms. Programs to optimize antimicrobial use need to be developed. Thus, although progress in understanding and practice has been made, important questions remain.

Journal Article.  3573 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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