Nosocomial Infections in the Intensive Care Unit

  • Paul Ellis Marik


Catheter-associated sepsis is defined as bloodstream infection due to an organism that has colonized a vascular catheter. Approximately 5% of patients with indwelling vascular catheters (uncoated) will develop bloodstream infection (≈10 infections per 1000 catheter days). The incidence of catheter-associated sepsis increases with the length of time the catheter is in situ, the number of ports, and the number of manipulations. Approximately 25% of catheters become colonized (>15 colony-forming units, CFU) and approximately 20% to 30% of colonized catheters will result in catheter sepsis. Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci are the most common infecting (and colonizing) organisms, followed by enterococci, gram-negative bacteria, and Candida species. Antibiotic-coated catheters significantly reduce catheter colonization and catheterassociated bloodstream infection. Femoral catheters are not associated with a higher infection rate. Similarly, neither the type of occlusive dressing nor the frequency of dressing change affects the incidence of catheter-associated sepsis.


Nosocomial Infection Candida Species Invasive Candidiasis Acalculous Cholecystitis Maxillary Sinusitis 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Ellis Marik
    • 1
  1. 1.Critical Care MedicineMercy Hospital of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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