A point prevalence survey of health care-associated infections in Canadian pediatric inpatients

Am J Infect Control. 2012 Aug;40(6):491-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2011.08.008. Epub 2011 Nov 12.


Background: Health care-associated infections (HAIs) cause considerable morbidity and mortality to hospitalized patients. The objective of this point prevalence study was to assess the burden of HAIs in the Canadian pediatric population, updating results reported from a similar study conducted in 2002.

Methods: A point prevalence survey of pediatric inpatients was conducted in February 2009 in 30 pediatric or combined adult/pediatric hospitals. Data pertaining to one 24-hour period were collected, including information on HAIs, microorganisms isolated, antimicrobials prescribed, and use of additional (transmission based) precautions. The following prevalent infections were included: pneumonia, urinary tract infection, bloodstream infection, surgical site infection, viral respiratory infection, Clostridium difficile infection, viral gastroenteritis, and necrotizing enterocolitis.

Results: One hundred eighteen patients had 1 or more HAI, corresponding to a prevalence of 8.7% (n = 118 of 1353, 95% confidence interval: 7.2-10.2). Six patients had 2 infections. Bloodstream infections were the most frequent infection in neonates (3.0%), infants (3.1%), and children (3.5%). Among all patients surveyed, 16.3% were on additional precautions, and 40.1% were on antimicrobial agents, whereas 40.7% of patients with a HAI were on additional precautions, and 89.0% were on antimicrobial agents.

Conclusion: Overall prevalence of HAI in 2009 has remained similar to the prevalence reported from 2002. The unchanged prevalence of these infections nonetheless warrants continued vigilance on their prevention and control.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology*
  • Bacterial Infections / microbiology
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Inpatients
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Virus Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Virus Diseases / virology