Skin/soft tissue infections (SSTIs) are the leading cause of hospital admissions among injection drug users (IDUs).
We performed a retrospective investigation to determine the epidemiology of SSTIs (ie, cellulitis and/or abscesses) in febrile IDUs, with a focus on bacteriology and potential predictors of increased health care utilization measured by longer length of stay and rehospitalization. Subjects were drawn from a cohort of febrile IDUs presenting to an inner-city emergency department from 1998 to 2004.
Of the 295 febrile IDUs with SSTIs, specific discharge diagnoses were cellulitis only (n = 143, 48.5%), abscesses only (n = 113, 38.3%), and both (n = 39, 13.2%). Documented HIV infection rate was 28%. Of note, 10 subjects were newly diagnosed with HIV infection during their visits. Staphylococcus aureus was the leading pathogen, and increasing rates of methicillin-resistant S. aureus emerged over time (before 2001: 4%, 2001-2004: 56%, P < 0.01). HIV seropositivity predicted rehospitalization within 90 days [adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals: 2.90 (1.20 to 7.02)]. HIV seropositivity also predicted increased length of stay in those who were nonbacteremic [adjusted hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals: 1.49 (1.11 to 2.01)].
Among febrile IDUs with SSTIs, a strong association between HIV seropositivity and health care resource utilization was found. Accordingly, attention to HIV serostatus should be considered in clinical disposition decisions for this vulnerable high-risk population.
"Although IDUs often attempt to self-treat when they contract an abscess (Binswanger et al., 2000; Roose, Hayashi, & Cunningham, 2009), abscesses can develop into lifethreatening infections that can lead to hospitalization requiring extensive intravenous antibiotics, the delivery of which is complicated in persons without adequate venous access. Greater numbers of methicillin-resistant S aureus and polymicrobial bacterial infections are being observed among IDUs (Al-Rawahi et al., 2008; Hsieh, Rothman, Bartlett, Yang, & Kelen, 2008; Lloyd-Smith et al, 2010). These infections tend to be more severe and difficult to treat (Siegel, Rhinehart, Jackson, Chiarello, & the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee, 2007). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new skin and needle hygiene intervention, designed to reduce high-risk injection practices associated with bacterial and viral infections, was tested in a pilot, randomized controlled trial. Participants included 48 active heroin injectors recruited through street outreach and randomized to either a 2-session intervention or an assessment-only condition (AO) and followed up for 6 months. The primary outcome was skin- and needle-cleaning behavioral skills measured by videotaped demonstration. Secondary outcomes were high-risk injection practices, intramuscular injection, and bacterial infections. Intervention participants had greater improvements on the skin (d = 1.00) and needle-cleaning demonstrations (d = .52) and larger reductions in high-risk injection practices (d = .32) and intramuscular injection (d = .29), with a lower incidence rate of bacterial infections (hazard ratio = .80), at 6 months compared with AO. The new intervention appears feasible and promising as a brief intervention to reduce bacterial and viral risks associated with drug injection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Declining rates of hospitalizations occurred shortly after the availability of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). However, trends in the late HAART era are less defined, and data on the impact of CD4 counts and HAART use on hospitalizations are needed.
We evaluated hospitalization rates from 1999 to 2007 among HIV-infected persons enrolled in a large US military cohort. Poisson regression was used to compare hospitalization rates per year and to examine factors associated with hospitalization.
Of the 2429 participants, 822 (34%) were hospitalized at least once with 1770 separate hospital admissions. The rate of hospitalizations (137 per 1000 person-years) was constant over the study period [relative rate (RR) 1.00 per year change, 95% confidence interval: 0.98 to 1.02]. The hospitalization rates due to skin infections (RR: 1.50, P = 0.02), methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (RR: 3.19, P = 0.03), liver disease (RR: 1.71, P = 0.04), and surgery (RR: 1.17, P = 0.04) significantly increased over time, whereas psychological causes (RR: 0.60, P < 0.01) and trauma (RR: 0.54, P < 0.01) decreased. In the multivariate model, higher nadir CD4 (RR: 0.92 per 50 cells, P < 0.01) and higher proximal CD4 counts (RR of 0.71 for 350-499 vs. <350 cells/mm(3) and RR 0.67 for > or = 500 vs. 350 cells/mm(3), both P < 0.01) were associated with lower risk of hospitalization. Risk of hospitalization was constant for proximal CD4 levels above 350 (RR: 0.94 P = 0.51, CD4 > or = 500 vs. 350-499). HAART was associated with a reduced risk of hospitalization among those with a CD4 <350 (RR: 0.72, P = 0.02) but had smaller estimated and nonsignificant effects at higher CD4 levels (RR: 0.81, P = 0.33 and 1.06, P = 0.71 for CD4 350-499 and > or = 500, respectively).
Hospitalizations continue to occur at high rates among HIV-infected persons with increasing rates for skin infections, methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, liver disease, and surgeries. Factors associated with a reduced risk of hospitalization include CD4 counts >350 cells per cubic millimeter and HAART use among patients with a CD4 count <350 cells per cubic millimeter.
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