Over the last 5 years plastic isolators have been used for the prevention of infection in patients with severe neutropenia. Fifteen patients in differing stages of acute myeloid and chronic granulocytic leukaemia were managed in isolators for a total of 110 patient-weeks. The mean duration of isolation for each patient was 7·4 weeks with a range of 2-14 weeks. There was no evidence that any of the isolated patients acquired infection with any exogenous micro-organism. The psychological problems of isolation proved less onerous for the patients than had been anticipated by the medical and nursing staff and no patient had to be removed from isolation for psychiatric reasons. Unfortunately the reduced incidence of clinical infection in the isolated patients was not obviously associated with an increase in effectiveness of their anti-leukaemic treatment.
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