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A Universal Screening Strategy for SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Intensive Care Units: Korean Experience in a Single Hospital

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Chang, Euijin; Choi, Jae-Sung; Park, Tae Yun; Kim, Seung Bin; Ko, Suhui; Kwon, Yang Sun; Kim, Eun Jin; Song, Hyunju; Noh, Hwa Kyung; Park, Sang-Won

Issue Date
Korean Society of Infectious Diseases; Korean Society for Antimicrobial Therapy
Infection and Chemotherapy, Vol.52 No.3, pp.352-359
Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is not differentiated clinically from other respiratory infections, and intensive care units (ICUs) are vulnerable to in-hospital transmission due to interventions inducing respiratory aerosols. This study evaluated the effectiveness of universal SARS-CoV-2 screening in ICUs in terms of screened-out cases and reduction in anxiety of healthcare personnel (HCP). Materials and Methods: This prospective single-armed observational study was conducted in 2 ICUs of a single hospital. The number of patients diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection by the screening program and healthcare workers in ICUs that visited the SARS-CoV-2 screening clinic or infection clinic were investigated. Results: During the 7-week study period, no positive screening case was reported among a total of 142 patients. Among 86 HCP in the ICUs, only 2 HCP sought medical consultation for SARS-CoV-2 infection during the initial 2 weeks. Conclusion: A universal screening program for SARS-CoV-2 infection in ICUs with the coordination of other countermeasures in the hospital was reasonably effective in preventing in-hospital transmission in a pandemic situation and making clinical practices and HCP stable.
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