Our objective was to test the hypothesis that in-hospital respiratory viral infections (RVI) would be significantly lower in a cohort of patients with established bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) exposed to a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection prevention protocol when compared to historical controls.
On April 1, 2020, we implemented a universal infection prevention protocol to minimize the risk of nosocomial SARS-CoV-2 transmission in a dedicated BPD intensive care unit. We performed a retrospective cohort study and included patients with established BPD, as defined by the 2019 Neonatal Research Network criteria, admitted to our center who underwent real-time polymerase-chain-reaction RVI testing between January 1, 2015 and March 31, 2021. We excluded patients readmitted from home. We compared the proportion of positive tests to the number of tests performed and the distribution of viral respiratory pathogens in the pre- and post-SARS-CoV-2 eras.
Among 176 patients included in the study, 663 RVI tests were performed and 172 (26%) tests were positive. The median number of tests performed, measured in tests per patient per month, in the SARS-CoV-2 era was not significantly different compared to the pre-SARS-CoV-2 era (0.45 vs. 0.34 tests per patient per month, p?=?.07). The proportion of positive RVI tests was significantly lower in the SARS-CoV-2 era when compared to the pre-SARS-CoV-2 era (0.06 vs. 0.30, p?<?.0001). No patients tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 in the SARS-CoV-2 era.
Infection prevention measures developed in response to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic may reduce the risk of RVIs in hospitalized patients with established BPD.