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Pseudo-Outbreak with Serratia Marcescens Contamination in Albuterol Sulfate/Ipratropium Bromide for Inhalation Therapy

      ISSUE: In recent years Serratia marcescens has become an important cause of severe healthcare-associated infection. This organism can easily be disseminated throughout patient care areas via unwashed healthcare worker hands, contaminated patient equipment, work surfaces, and any item coming into contact or mixed with tap water. Infection Control monitors all microbiology cultures performed in our laboratory. During this monitoring process, an increase in Serratia marcescens cultured from respiratory secretions was identified in May 2002. Identified were eleven hospitalized patients and one outpatient. To determine if a true outbreak was in progress, a case definition was defined and chart review was conducted for all patients culturing Serratia marcescens from April 1st through June 30th 2002.
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