Minerva Urol Nephrol. 2022 Nov 16. doi: 10.23736/S2724-6051.22.05011-X. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Since before the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) represented a global healthcare crisis. Few studies suggested that COVID-19-related basic hygiene measures (BHM) could lower HAIs rates, reaching inconclusive results. The aim of this study was to investigate the hypothetical benefit on HAIs rate of COVID-19-enhanced BHM systematic introduction after major elective urological surgery.
METHODS: Since the pandemic began, our hospital has implemented BHM to limit the spread of COVID-19. We compared patients operated in the pre-COVID-19 era (no-BHM period) with those operated after the pandemic started (BHM period). Outcomes were the incidence of HAIs and postoperative complications, and the length of hospital stay (LOS). Two balanced groups were generated by propensity score 1:1 matching.
RESULTS: Of 1053 major urological interventions, 604 were performed in the no-BHM period, and 449 in the BHM period. After matched analysis, the comparison groups consisted of 310 patients each. Of 107 recorded HAIs, 43 occurred during the BHM period (13.9%), and 64 during the no-BHM period (20.7%), with a statistically significant difference in multivariable analysis (OR 0.5 [95% CI 0.3-0.8], P=0.004). Postoperative complications rate was significantly lower in the BHM period than in the no-BHM period (29.0% versus 36.5%, OR 0.6 [95% CI 0.4-0.9], P=0.01). The LOS differed significantly between BHM and no-BHM periods: a median of 5 (5-8) days versus 6 (5-8), respectively (P<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: The risk of infections, postoperative complications, and prolonged LOS after major urological surgery was significantly reduced with the systematic introduction of COVID-19-related BHM, their application could, therefore, be prolonged with lasting benefits.