Silver-embedded screens in the intensive care unit. A new tool to control multi-drug resistant bacterial cross-transmission

  • J. Ruiz
  • P. RamirezEmail author
  • E. Villarreal
  • M. Gordon
  • S. Cuesta
  • M. Piñol
  • J. Frasquet
  • Á. Castellanos
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of silver-embedded surfaces (BactiBlock®) to prevent surface colonization by multi-resistant bacteria (MRB) and to reduce the incidence of MRB colonization and infection in patients admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU). A 6-month prospective observational study in a 24-bed mixed ICU divided into two identical subunits (12 beds each) was designed. Seven solid mobile screens were placed in one of the subunits while in the other cloth screens remained. Solid screens were constructed with high-density polyethylene embedded in Bactiblock®. To evaluate the effectiveness of screens coated with Bactiblock®, number of MRB isolates on screens were compared for 6 months. Likewise, numbers of new patients and ICU-stays with MRB colonization in the two subunits were compared. One hundred forty screen samples were collected in 10-point prevalent days. MRB were detected on 28 (20.0%) samples. Over the 70 samples taken on cloth folding screens, MRB were detected in 25 (35.7%), while only 3 (4.3%) of the 70 samples taken on Bactiblock® screens were positive for MRB (p < 0.001). The unit with Bactiblock® screens presented fewer number of ICU stays with MRB colonization (27.8% vs 47.1%; p < 0.001). No significant differences were found in the global incidence of MRB nosocomial infection. The presence of Bactiblock® embedded in solid folding screens avoided MRB surface colonization and reduced MRB transmission to patients admitted to critical care units, proving to be an useful tool in the control of MRB.


Intensive Care Unit Nosocomial Infection Intensive Care Unit Stay Acinetobacter Baumannii Critical Care Unit 
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Compliance with ethical standards


The author(s) received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The Hospital La Fe Bioethical Committee approved this study.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Ruiz
    • 1
  • P. Ramirez
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. Villarreal
    • 1
  • M. Gordon
    • 1
  • S. Cuesta
    • 1
  • M. Piñol
    • 1
  • J. Frasquet
    • 1
  • Á. Castellanos
    • 1
  1. 1.Hospital Universitario y Politécnico la FeValenciaSpain

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