Infection control bundles in intensive care: an international cross-sectional survey in low- and middle-income countries



      In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the burden of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) is not known due to a lack of national surveillance systems, standardized infection definitions, and paucity of infection prevention and control (IPC) organizations and legal infrastructure.


      To determine the status of IPC bundle practice and the most frequent interventional variables in LMICs.


      A questionnaire was emailed to Infectious Diseases International Research Initiative (ID-IRI) Group Members and dedicated IPC doctors working in LMICs to examine self-reported practices/policies regarding IPC bundles. Responding country incomes were classified by World Bank definitions into low, middle, and high. Comparison of LMIC results was then made to a control group of high-income countries (HICs).


      This survey reports practices from one low-income country (LIC), 16 middle-income countries (MICs) (13 European), compared to eight high-income countries (HICs). Eighteen (95%) MICs had an IPC committee in their hospital, 12 (63.2%) had an annual agreed programme and produced an HCAI report. Annual agreed programmes (87.5% vs 63.2%, respectively) and an annual HCAI report (75.0% vs 63.2%, respectively) were more common in HICs than MICs. All HICs had at least one invasive device-related surveillance programme. Seven (37%) MICs had no invasive device-related surveillance programme, six (32%) had no ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention bundles, seven (37%) had no catheter-associated urinary tract infection prevention bundles, and five (27%) had no central line-associated bloodstream infection prevention bundles.


      LMICs need to develop their own bundles with low-cost and high-level-of-evidence variables adapted to the limited resources, with further validation in reducing infection rates.


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