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Noninfectious Hospital Adverse Events Decline After Elimination of Contact Precautions for MRSA and VRE

  • Elise M. Martin (a1), Brandy Bryant (a2), Tristan R. Grogan (a3), Zachary A. Rubin (a1), Dana L. Russell (a4), David Elashoff (a3) and Daniel Z. Uslan (a1)...

To evaluate the impact of discontinuing routine contact precautions (CP) for endemic methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) on hospital adverse events.


Retrospective, nonrandomized, observational, quasi-experimental study.


Academic medical center with single-occupancy rooms.




We compared hospital reportable adverse events 1 year before and 1 year after discontinuation of routine CP for endemic MRSA and VRE (preintervention and postintervention periods, respectively). Throughout the preintervention period, daily chlorhexidine gluconate bathing was expanded to nearly all inpatients. Chart reviews were performed to identify which patients and events were associated with CP for MRSA/VRE in the preintervention period as well as the patients that would have met prior criteria for MRSA/VRE CP but were not isolated in the postintervention period. Adverse events during the 2 periods were compared using segmented and mixed-effects Poisson regression models.


There were 24,732 admissions in the preintervention period and 25,536 in the postintervention period. Noninfectious adverse events (ie, postoperative respiratory failure, hemorrhage/hematoma, thrombosis, wound dehiscence, pressure ulcers, and falls or trauma) decreased by 19% (12.3 to 10.0 per 1,000 admissions, P=.022) from the preintervention to the postintervention period. There was no significant difference in the rate of infectious adverse events after CP discontinuation (20.7 to 19.4 per 1,000 admissions, P=.33). Patients with MRSA/VRE showed the largest reduction in noninfectious adverse events after CP discontinuation, with a 72% reduction (21.4 to 6.08 per 1,000 MRSA/VRE admissions; P<.001).


After discontinuing routine CP for endemic MRSA/VRE, the rate of noninfectious adverse events declined, especially in patients who no longer required isolation. This suggests that elimination of CP may substantially reduce noninfectious adverse events.

Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2018;788–796

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to Elise Martin, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, 10833 LeConte Ave, 37-121 CHS, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (
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PREVIOUS PRESENTATION. The data in this manuscript were presented in part (Poster no. 616) at the SHEA Spring 2016 conference: Science Guiding Prevention, in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 20, 2016.

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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
  • ISSN: 0899-823X
  • EISSN: 1559-6834
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