Routine protective isolation procedures for granulocytopenic patients may not offer any more protection from infections than general ward care, according to results of a prospective study at the University of Wisconsin Center of Health Sciences, Madison.
William M. Nauseef, MD, now a fellow in infectious diseases at Yale-New Haven Hospital, Conn, and coinvestigator Dennis G. Maki, MD, associate professor of medicine at Wisconsin, randomly assigned 37 neutropenic patients—most with a diagnosis of acute nonlymphocytic leukemia—to standard ward accommodations or private rooms with reverse isolation precautions.
Protective isolation procedures entailed the usual gown, mask, and glove requirements for all visitors. The only modification of care given the ward patients was handwashing prior to patient contact. Moreover, the ward group was sent for diagnostic studies throughout the hospital without special precautions.
Neither group received nonabsorbable antibiotics, sterilized food, or cutaneous disinfectants. Both were given the same antineoplastic therapy and supportive care. Surveillance