A Little Privacy, Please

Private rooms for ICU patients reduces infection risk

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) McGill University of Montreal has found that patients in private room intensive care are less likely to develop infections than those in multi-bed intensive care units.

An estimated 30 percent of intensive care patients develop infections, a significant amount of them being fatal. Since most of these occur due to extended length of stay, researchers from McGill University of Montreal have compared rates of infection in patients who went from multi-bed rooms in intensive care to private rooms (hospital intervention).

The authors looked at data taken between 2000 and 2005, a total of 19,343 intensive care patients. Hospital related infections decreased by 54 percent when patients were transitioned to private rooms.

Researchers looked at infection rates of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can lead to dangerous skin infections, Clostridium difficile, a gastrointestinal bacterium which can cause life-threatening colon damage, and yeast acquisition.

The length of stay also decreased slightly for those admitted to private rooms. Treating patients in private rooms allows for better infection control and may even prevent the acquisition of infections in the first place.

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Review Date: 
January 12, 2011
Last Updated:
January 13, 2011