Background: Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) represent an important cause of morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
Methods: All neonates admitted for > 48 hours between January 2003 and December 2006 in the NICU of the teaching hospital Umberto I of Rome, Italy were considered.
Results: Of the 575 neonates evaluated, 76 (13.2%) developed a total of 100 HAIs, including 36 bloodstream infections (BSIs), 33 pneumonias, 19 urinary tract infections, 8 conjunctivitis, and 4 onphalitis. There were 7.8 HAIs/1000 patient-days and 12.5 BSIs/1000 days of umbilical catheterization. Logistic analysis identified an association with mechanical ventilation (odds ratio [OR] = 3.05; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.75 to 5.31; P < .01) and birth weight <or= 1500 g (OR = 2.34; 95% CI = 1.36 to 4.03; P < .01). Thirty-five neonates (6.1%) died. Klebsiella pneumoniae (37.7%) and coagulase-negative staphylococci (28.6%) were the most frequently isolated microorganisms. Only 3 Candida spp determined BSIs (8.3%). BSI mortality was higher in infections with gram-negative pathogens (36.4%) than in infections with gram-positive pathogens (4.5%).
Conclusions: Although we found a low infection and mortality rate, attention should be directed toward antibiotic-resistant gram-negative pathogens.