Control measures against Serratia marcescens colonization at the neonatal intensive care unit of UOEH hospital

Takako Ikeno, Tadao Tanabe, Tetsuro Muratani, Noriko Nakano, Tomoko Kotake, Yoshitsugu Shirakawa, Hatsumi Taniguchi, Tetsuro Matsumoto

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1 Citation (Scopus)


In September 2001, twelve neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) patients were found to be colonized with pigment-producing strains of Serratia marcescens. The UOEH Infection Control Group (ICG) committee investigated the source of this epidemic and carried out several remedial measures. Immediate investigation of both the environment and the hands of health care workers were enforced. The most likely means of transmission was thought to be from the hands contaminated with S. marcescens that was found on antiseptic cotton, kept in shared stainless steel canisters, used for wiping the patients' buttocks. Therefore, we suggested the following interventions: 1) abolish the stainless steel canisters, and prepare antiseptic cottons for each patient, 2) monitor cultures with some specimens for all patients in the NICU, 3) periodically investigate the environment, 4) enforce workers to wash and disinfect their hands before and after patient care, 5) use new gloves for each treatment, 6) re-examine and modify the caring procedures for inpatients by the nursing staff. In January 2002, this nosocomial colonization came to an end without any serious infection. One of the key points of this success was the quick response by the clinical staff and ICG committee members to the laboratory results of bacteriological examinations. Furthermore, the early investigation of reservoir and good communication between the clinical staff and ICG committee members mostly prevented this nosocomial colonization from becoming worse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of UOEH
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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