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A randomized control trial evaluating efficacy of antimicrobial impregnated hospital privacy curtains in an intensive care setting.

Wilson G, Jackson V, Boyken L, Puig-Asensio M, Marra AR, Perencevich E, Schweizer ML, Diekema D, Breheny P, Petersen C. A randomized control trial evaluating efficacy of antimicrobial impregnated hospital privacy curtains in an intensive care setting. American journal of infection control. 2020 Aug 1; 48(8):862-868.

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BACKGROUND: Acquisition of pathogens into health care settings from prior room occupants has been documented. Hospital room privacy curtains are at high risk for pathogenic bacterial contamination. Antimicrobial impregnated curtains could be effective in reducing contamination. METHODS: Rooms within an intensive care unit at The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics were randomized to 3 arms. The 2 intervention arms: (1) halamine antimicrobial curtains (BioSmart curtain [BSC]) and (2) halamine antimicrobial curtains sprayed twice weekly with a sodium hypochlorite-based disinfecting spray (BSC-pre and BSC-post) and a third control arm (standard curtain [SC]). Samples were collected twice weekly for 3 weeks to assess pathogenic bacterial contamination. RESULTS: The likelihood of remaining uncontaminated was 38% for SC, 37% for BSC, and 60% for the BSC-pre group. Time to event (contamination) analysis found no statistically significant difference between pathogenic contamination between the SC, BSC, and BSC-pre groups (P value? = .1921). There was a decrease in average colony count for BSC curtains compared with control, however, this difference was not statistically significant. Hypochlorite spray was found to transiently decontaminate curtains, but effects dissipated after 72 hours. CONCLUSIONS: BSC did not show a significant reduction in pathogenic contamination compared with control. Antimicrobial curtains could have a role in reducing environmental contamination in the health care setting. Future studies should be done to determine the long-term effects of using antimicrobial curtains in health care.

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