There are limited data on the effectiveness of visitor restriction policies in reducing nosocomial viral infection within pediatric hospitals. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of changes to the visitor restriction policy on respiratory viral acquisition at a pediatric quaternary care hospital.
During the 2014-15 respiratory viral season, preliminary data indicated a >3x risk of acquiring a respiratory viral infection while hospitalized in the general medical/surgical A building compared with the critical care B building in the study hospital. In an attempt to reduce exposure, new visitor guidelines were implemented in December 2015 limiting and standardizing the number of visitors allowed for both buildings. Incident rates of hospital-acquired positive respiratory viral testing were compared between the 2014-15 (pre-intervention) and 2015-16 (post-intervention) seasons. Hospital-acquired was defined as testing obtained ≥ hospital-day 7 to maximally avoid ambiguity of pathogens possibly incubating on admission. Positive on admission was defined as testing obtained < hospital-day 3. Rates were standardized to account for differences in frequency and severity across viral seasons and compared using two-sample Poisson exact tests.
Results are listed in Table 1. Using the pre-intervention season for reference, the post-intervention standardized incidence ratio was significantly lower in the A-building (p = 0.03) while not significantly changed in the B-building (p = 0.56).
Limiting the number of bedside visitors is associated with a reduction in respiratory viral acquisition in hospitalized children.
J. Woltmann, None
B. Connelly, None