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Bay rooms vs single-bed rooms in intensive care unit nosocomial infections: a case-control study


Nosocomial infections remain a clinical challenge in the ICU. Based on definitions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of Atlanta, nosocomial infections are defined as infection occurring within 48 to 72 hours after hospital admission. In ICU settings, a single-bed room location has been suggested as a structural organization helpful to prevent nosocomial infection diffusion. Here we show preliminary results of a study conducted in our ICU before and after a change from open bay to single-bed room locations.


Microbiological data were collected from ICU patients hosted in bay rooms in the ICU (April 2006 to April 2007) and compared with data collected from patients hosted in the subsequent period (May 2007 to May 2008), after the single-bed ICU room re-allocation. For analysis, we considered the prevalence of microorganisms isolated and the difference in blood culture/tracheal aspirate positivity.


The cohorts examined resulted in similar demographic and clinical data. As shown in Figure 1, microorganisms isolated did not change significantly in the two periods. Figure 2 summarizes the differences in tracheal aspirate/blood culture isolation among the two periods.

Figure 1

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Figure 2

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We cannot confirm that a single-bed room location can prevent nosocomial infection diffusion. A limit of this study, as in previous published works, remains the bias related to patients admitted from other wards or after a prolonged emergency room stay.

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Correspondence to E Bigazzi.

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Bigazzi, E., Turrisi, L., Zagli, G. et al. Bay rooms vs single-bed rooms in intensive care unit nosocomial infections: a case-control study. Crit Care 14, P458 (2010).

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  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Hospital Admission
  • Structural Organization
  • Emergency Room
  • Nosocomial Infection