Research Article

A unit for source and protective isolation in a general hospital.

Br Med J 1979; 2 doi: (Published 25 August 1979) Cite this as: Br Med J 1979;2:461
  1. G A Ayliffe,
  2. J R Babb,
  3. L Taylor,
  4. R Wise


    An isolation unit consisting of 12 ventilated cubicles was investigated over 18 months. Out of 462 patients admitted, 262 (57%) required source and 200 (43%) protective isolation. Admissions of patients with staphylococcal sepsis fell from 16 in the first three months to six in the last three months. Staphylococcus aureus was recovered from 12% of nurses' fingers and often in small numbers from protective clothing and uniforms, but only two patients acquired a strain from a nurse or another patient. Gram-negative bacilli were rarely recovered from hands or protective clothing of nurses, and there was no evidence of spread of infectious diseases. This inexpensive unit, with simple but efficient isolation-nursing techniques, successfully prevented the spread of infection.