Picture of person typing on laptop with programming code visible on the laptop screen

World class computing and information science research at Strathclyde...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde's Open Access research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including by researchers from the Department of Computer & Information Sciences involved in mathematically structured programming, similarity and metric search, computer security, software systems, combinatronics and digital health.

The Department also includes the iSchool Research Group, which performs leading research into socio-technical phenomena and topics such as information retrieval and information seeking behaviour.


A statistical approach to an outbreak of endophthalmitis following cataract surgery at a hospital in the West of Scotland

Allardice, G.M. and Wright, E.M. and Peterson, M. and Miller, J.M. (2001) A statistical approach to an outbreak of endophthalmitis following cataract surgery at a hospital in the West of Scotland. Journal of Hospital Infection, 49 (1). pp. 23-29. ISSN 0195-6701

Full text not available in this repository. Request a copy from the Strathclyde author


The number of cases of endophthalmitis following cataract surgery caused considerable concern in a West of Scotland hospital throughout 1998 and early 1999. A multi-disciplinary team including infection control nurses, doctors, public health officials,<$>epidemiologists and statisticians was set up to investigate the situation. This paper examines the statistical issues surrounding the investigation. A method based on the Poisson distribution showed that the number of cases was significantly higher than expected. Fisher's Exact Test and Logistic Regression were then applied to the data from two related case control studies. These analyses showed that a higher risk of endophthalmitis was associated with being female, having a vitrectomy or having a previous history of respiratory disease. Finally, a method was devised to enable staff to recognize more quickly when the number of cases of endophthalmitis was becoming higher than expected. The method should find application in other clinical situations where the probability of rare events is known.