Using care bundles to prevent infection in neonatal and paediatric ICUs

Curr Opin Infect Dis. 2009 Jun;22(3):224-8. doi: 10.1097/QCO.0b013e3283297b68.


Purpose of review: Quality and safety of care are national priorities. Healthcare-acquired infections are now considered preventable and unacceptable. Care bundles are used to prevent and treat health-care acquired infections in adults. This paper considers the evidence and context for their use in children.

Recent findings: There is evidence that care bundles are effective in the adult literature. There have been few reports in the paediatric literature on the implementation of care bundles in children. Paediatric reports focus on the impact of interventions to reduce ventilator-associated pneumonia and central line infections. Recent articles suggest that care bundles are beneficial as part of a comprehensive improvement programme in the ICU. Other papers confirm that ventilator-associated pneumonia bundles can be translated from adults to children, supporting the business case for improving quality.

Summary: The adult and paediatric literature agree that care bundles are valuable tools for ensuring that evidence-based medicine is delivered reliably. Care bundles should be adopted in paediatric and neonatal units. In particular, if applied correctly, they are likely to significantly reduce certain health-care acquired infections. Further research is needed to refine the individual elements of the bundles and to evaluate new applications for them.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Case Management
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Cross Infection / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric