APIC and CDC survey of Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolation and control practices in hospitals caring for children. Part 2: Environmental and administrative controls. Association for Professionals in Infection control and Epidemiology, Inc.Am J Infect Control. 1998 Oct; 26(5):483-7.AJ
The 1994 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention draft Guidelines for Preventing the Transmission of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in Health-Care Facilities did not exempt pediatric facilities from instituting controls to prevent nosocomial tuberculosis (TB) transmission. Many researchers contend that TB disease in children does not require such rigid controls. We surveyed acute-care pediatric facilities in the United States to determine adherence to environmental and administrative control recommendations.
The study included 4 mailings of a survey to infection control professionals at 284 US children's hospitals and adult acute-care hospitals with > 30 pediatric beds.
Isolation rooms (IRs) generally conformed to recommended guidelines; 92% of respondents reported IRs with > or = 6 air changes per hour, 90% reported 1-pass air and negative pressure, and 89% reported that IRs were private rooms. A sufficient number of inpatient IRs were reported by 88%, but only 42% had IRs in outpatient areas, and 19% had IRs in off-site clinics. Employee tuberculin skin-test programs were in place at 98% of facilities, but policies pertaining to implementation varied. Employees' use of personal respirators increased at respondent hospitals from 1991 to 1994, but as late as 1994, nearly one third still used surgical masks for high-risk procedures.
Environmental and administrative controls used by respondent hospitals largely conformed to published guidelines. Because definitive studies that quantify the risk of nosocomial M tuberculosis transmission in pediatric settings have yet to be performed, pediatric facilities are required to have the same protections in place as do their adult counterparts.