Open Access

Preventive measures significantly reduced the risk of nosocomial infection in elderly inpatients during the COVID‑19 pandemic

  • Authors:
    • Shuangshuang Wu
    • Wen Liu
    • Mingjiong Zhang
    • Kai Wang
    • Jin Liu
    • Yujia Hu
    • Quan She
    • Min Li
    • Shaoran Shen
    • Bo Chen
    • Jianqing Wu
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: July 6, 2022     https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2022.11499
  • Article Number: 562
  • Copyright: © Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License.

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Abstract

In December 2019, there was an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown causes in Wuhan, China. The etiological pathogen was identified to be a novel coronavirus, named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2), which causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19). The number of infected patients has markedly increased since the 2019 outbreak and COVID‑19 has also proven to be highly contagious. In particular, the elderly are among the group of patients who are the most susceptible to succumbing to COVID‑19 within the general population. Cross‑infection in the hospital is one important route of SARS‑CoV‑2 transmission, where elderly patients are more susceptible to nosocomial infections due to reduced immunity. Therefore, the present study was conducted to search for ways to improve the medical management workflow in geriatric departments to ultimately reduce the risk of nosocomial infection in elderly inpatients. The present observational retrospective cohort study analysed elderly patients who were hospitalised in the Geriatric Department of the First Affiliated Hospital with Nanjing Medical University (Nanjing, China). A total of 4,066 elderly patients, who were admitted between January and March in 2019 and 2020 and then hospitalised for >48 h were selected. Among them, 3,073 (75.58%) patients hospitalised from January 2019 to March 2019 were allocated into the non‑intervention group, whereas the remaining 933 (24.42%) patients hospitalised from January 2020 to March 2020 after the COVID‑19 outbreak were allocated into the intervention group. Following multivariate logistic regression analysis, the risk of nosocomial infections was found to be lower in the intervention group compared with that in the non‑intervention group. After age stratification and adjustment for sex, chronic disease, presence of malignant tumour and trauma, both inverse probability treatment weighting and standardised mortality ratio revealed a lower risk of nosocomial infections in the intervention group compared with that in the non‑intervention group. To rule out interference caused by changes in the community floating population and social environment during this 1‑year study, 93 long‑stay patients in stable condition were selected as a subgroup based on 4,066 patients. The so‑called floating population refers to patients who have been in hospital for <2 years. Patients aged ≥65 years were included in the geriatrics program. The incidence of nosocomial infections during the epidemic prevention and control period (24 January 2020 to 24 March 2020) and the previous period of hospitalisation (24 January 2019 to 24 March 2019) was also analysed. In the subgroup analysis, a multivariate analysis was also performed on 93 elderly patients who experienced long‑term hospitalisation. The risk of nosocomial and pulmonary infections was found to be lower in the intervention group compared with that in the non‑intervention group. During the pandemic, the geriatric department took active preventative measures. However, whether these measures can be normalised to reduce the risk of nosocomial infections among elderly inpatients remain unclear. In addition, the present study found that the use of an indwelling gastric tube is an independent risk factor of nosocomial pulmonary infection in elderly inpatients. However, nutritional interventions are indispensable for the long‑term wellbeing of patients, especially for those with dysphagia in whom an indwelling gastric tube is the most viable method of providing enteral nutrition. To conclude, the present retrospective analysis of the selected cases showed that enacting preventative and control measures resulted in the effective control of the incidence of nosocomial infections.

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September-2022
Volume 24 Issue 3

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Spandidos Publications style
Wu S, Liu W, Zhang M, Wang K, Liu J, Hu Y, She Q, Li M, Shen S, Chen B, Chen B, et al: Preventive measures significantly reduced the risk of nosocomial infection in elderly inpatients during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Exp Ther Med 24: 562, 2022
APA
Wu, S., Liu, W., Zhang, M., Wang, K., Liu, J., Hu, Y. ... Wu, J. (2022). Preventive measures significantly reduced the risk of nosocomial infection in elderly inpatients during the COVID‑19 pandemic. Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine, 24, 562. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2022.11499
MLA
Wu, S., Liu, W., Zhang, M., Wang, K., Liu, J., Hu, Y., She, Q., Li, M., Shen, S., Chen, B., Wu, J."Preventive measures significantly reduced the risk of nosocomial infection in elderly inpatients during the COVID‑19 pandemic". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 24.3 (2022): 562.
Chicago
Wu, S., Liu, W., Zhang, M., Wang, K., Liu, J., Hu, Y., She, Q., Li, M., Shen, S., Chen, B., Wu, J."Preventive measures significantly reduced the risk of nosocomial infection in elderly inpatients during the COVID‑19 pandemic". Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine 24, no. 3 (2022): 562. https://doi.org/10.3892/etm.2022.11499