Purpose of review
Attention to patient safety has made hospital infection prevention and control strategies a subject of increasing focus from healthcare personnel, patients and families, accrediting organizations, and government. This review highlights recent literature and new successes in the prevention of healthcare-associated infections in children.
Emerging evidence about risk factors for various healthcare-associated infections in children will help target available adjunctive preventive interventions. Multicenter pediatric collaborative efforts to emphasize best practices have resulted in decreases in infection rates, particularly for central line-associated bloodstream infections. A low prevalence of colonization or infection with multidrug-resistant organisms in hospitalized children, combined with a lack of compelling evidence of effectiveness for active surveillance and decolonization, have made decisions about routine screening challenging.
A renewed interest in infection prevention by multiple stakeholders has energized our field and contributed to impressive successes in reducing rates of healthcare-associated infections. Nevertheless, important knowledge gaps remain and an emphasis on funding of high-quality, rigorous studies to answer unresolved questions will be critical to our efforts to further prevent infections for hospitalized children.