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Port Glasgow, United Kingdom

Kilpatrick C.,Health Protection Scotland
Nursing standard (Royal College of Nursing (Great Britain) : 1987)

Invasive devices, such as urinary catheters and peripheral and central venous catheters, can form part of essential patient care and may provide life-saving support and treatment. However, the invasive nature of these devices and the vulnerability of patients can increase the risk of acquiring a healthcare-associated infection (HCAI). This article highlights the importance of best practice in relation to insertion and management of invasive devices, incorporating hand hygiene, to reduce the risk of HCAI. Although the information can be applied to invasive devices in general, the focus is on urinary catheters. Source

AIMS: To review the evidence on the effectiveness of harm reduction interventions involving the provision of sterile injecting equipment in the prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) transmission among injecting drug users (IDUs). The interventions assessed were needle and syringe programmes (NSP), alternative modes of needle/syringe provision (pharmacies, vending machines and outreach) and the provision of injecting equipment other than needles/syringes. METHODS: Systematic searches of the English language literature to March 2007 were undertaken to identify systematic, narrative or meta-analytical reviews (also known as a review of reviews) of the impact of interventions on HCV transmission, HIV transmission or injecting risk behaviour (IRB). Critical appraisal criteria classified the reviews as either high quality ('core') or supplementary: a framework based on the quality of reviews, the reviewers' conclusions and the designs/findings of the primary studies was used to derive evidence statements. RESULTS: Three core and two supplementary reviews of injecting equipment interventions were identified. According to the proposed framework, this study found (a) insufficient evidence to conclude that any of the interventions are effective in preventing HCV transmission; (b) tentative evidence to support the effectiveness of NSP in preventing HIV transmission; (c) sufficient evidence to support the effectiveness of NSP (and tentative evidence of an additional impact of pharmacy NSP) in reducing self-reported IRB; and (d) little to no evidence on vending machines, outreach or providing other injecting equipment in relation to any of the outcomes. CONCLUSIONS: The evidence is weaker than given credit for in the literature. The lack of evidence for effectiveness of NSP vis-à-vis biological outcomes (HCV and HIV incidence/prevalence) reflects the limitations of studies that have been undertaken to investigate these associations. Particularly for HCV, low levels of IRB may be insufficient to reduce high levels of transmission. New studies are required to identify the intervention coverage necessary to achieve sustained changes in blood-borne virus transmission. Source

Simpson C.R.,University of Edinburgh | Ritchie L.D.,University of Aberdeen | Robertson C.,University of Strathclyde | Robertson C.,International Prevention Research Institute | And 2 more authors.
The Lancet Infectious Diseases

Background: A targeted vaccination programme for pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza was introduced in Scotland, UK, in October, 2009. We sought to assess the effectiveness of this vaccine in a sample of the Scottish population during the 2009-10 pandemic. Methods: We assessed the effectiveness of the Scottish pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza vaccination with a retrospective cohort design. We linked data of patient-level primary care, hospital records, death certification, and virological swabs to construct our cohort. We estimated vaccine effectiveness in a nationally representative sample of the Scottish population by establishing the risk of hospital admission and death (adjusted for potential confounders) resulting from influenza-related morbidity in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients and laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza H1N1 2009 in a subset of patients. Findings: Pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza vaccination began in week 43 of 2009 (Oct 21, 2009) and was given to 38 296 (15·5%, 95% CI 15·4-15·6) of 247 178 people by the end of the study period (Jan 31, 2010). 208 882 (85%) people were unvaccinated. There were 5207 emergency hospital admissions and 579 deaths in the unvaccinated population and 924 hospital admissions and 71 deaths in the vaccinated population during 23 893 359 person-days of observation. The effectiveness of H1N1 vaccination for prevention of emergency hospital admissions from influenza-related disorders was 19·5% (95% CI 0·8-34·7). The vaccine's effectiveness in preventing laboratory-confirmed influenza was 77·0% (95% CI 2·0-95·0). Interpretation: Pandemic H1N1 2009 influenza vaccination was associated with protection against pandemic influenza and a reduction in hospital admissions from influenza-related disorders in Scotland during the 2009-10 pandemic. Funding: National Institute for Health Research Health Technology Assessment Programme (UK). © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Browning L.M.,Health Protection Scotland
Euro surveillance : bulletin européen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin

An investigation is currently underway to explain an outbreak of food-borne botulism in Scotland. Three children in the same family were confirmed as having botulism following consumption of a meal made with a jar of korma sauce. Residual sauce from the jar, the jar lid and a remnant of the meal, all tested positive for Clostridium botulinum type A toxin. The children are recovering, although two remain ventilated and in intensive care unit. Source

Reusable surgical instruments provide a potential route for the transmission of pathogenic agents between patients in healthcare facilities. As such, the decontamination process between uses is a vital component in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections. This article reviews reported outbreaks and incidents associated with inappropriate, inadequate, or unsuccessful decontamination of surgical instruments, indicating potential pitfalls of decontamination practices worldwide. To the author's knowledge, this is the first review of surgical instrument decontamination failures. Databases of medical literature, Medline and Embase, were searched systematically. Articles detailing incidents associated with unsuccessful decontamination of surgical instruments were identified. Twenty-one articles were identified reporting incidents associated with failures in decontamination. A large proportion of incidents involved the attempted disinfection, rather than sterilization, of surgical instruments (43% of articles), counter to a number of national guidelines. Instruments used in eye surgery were most frequently reported to be associated with decontamination failures (29% of articles). Of the few articles detailing potential or confirmed pathogenic transmission, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium spp. were most represented. One incident of possible variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease transmission was also identified. Limitations of analysing only published incidents mean that the likelihood of under-reporting (including reluctance to publish failure) must be considered. Despite these limitations, the small number of articles identified suggests a relatively low risk of cross-infection through reusable surgical instruments when cleaning/sterilization procedures are adhered to. The diverse nature of reported incidents also suggests that failures are not systemic. © 2014 The Healthcare Infection Society. Source

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