Residents of care homes are at risk of colonisation and infection with antibiotic resistant bacteria, but there is little evidence that antibiotic resistance among such patients is associated with worse outcomes than among older people living in their own homes. Our aim was to compare the prevalence of antibiotic resistant bacteria and clinical outcomes in older patients admitted to hospital with acute infections from care homes versus their own homes.
We enrolled patients admitted to Ninewells Hospital in 2005 who were older than 64 years with onset of acute community acquired respiratory tract, urinary tract or skin and soft tissue infections, and with at least one sample sent for culture. The primary outcome was 30 day mortality, adjusted for age, sex, Charlson Index of co-morbidity, sepsis severity, presence of resistant isolates and resistance to initial therapy.
161 patients were identified, 60 from care homes and 101 from the community. Care home patients were older, had more co-morbidities, and higher rates of resistant bacteria, including MRSA and Gram negative organisms resistant to co-amoxiclav, cefuroxime and/or ciprofloxacin, overall (70% versus 36%, p = 0.026). 30 day mortality was high in both groups (30% in care home patients and 24% in comparators). In multivariate logistic regression we found that place of residence did not predict 30 day mortality (adjusted odds ratio (OR) for own home versus care home 1.01, 95% CI 0.40-2.52, p = 0.984). Only having severe sepsis predicted 30 day mortality (OR 10.09, 95% CI 3.37-30.19, p < 0.001), after adjustment for age, sex, co-morbidity, presence of resistant bacteria, resistance to initial therapy, and place of residence.
Older patients admitted with acute infection had high 30 day mortality. Patients from care homes were more likely to have resistant organisms but high levels of antimicrobial resistance were found in both groups. Thus, we recommend that antibiotic therapies active against resistant organisms, guided by local resistance patterns, should be considered for all older patients admitted with severe sepsis regardless of their place of residence.