A review of staphylococcal colonization and infection rates in a family-centred maternity unit 1979-89.
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The usefulness of routine bacteriological surveillance of newborns in a family-centred maternity unit is explored. Colonization and infection rates were reviewed for a 10 year period. This review demonstrated a correlation between infection and colonization rates only when the colonization rate with Staphylococcus aureus was greater than 40%. The ability of this unit in the last years of the review to maintain a colonization rate of less than 25% enabled the practice to be discontinued and replaced with random point prevalence determinations, and has provided a method for researching various nursery practices. This review looks at the cost of monitoring Staph aureus colonization and summarizes some of the current practices in this unit.
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