A Reappraisal of Selective Decontamination of the Digestive Tract
Nosocomial infections are associated with an increased risk of death as well as prolonged hospitalizations and additional costs [1–4]. Patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are at particular risk; nosocomial infection rates there are 5 to 10 times higher than on general wards . Pneumonias are the most frequent ICU-acquired infections and are also associated with the highest attributable mortality [2, 3, 6]; their prevention represents a major challenge for intensivists. Meticulous hygiene and surveillance measures can reduce the infection rate by about one third. Such efforts are mainly directed against the transmission of pathogens. However, the majority of cases arise from endogenous sources which we are still far from controlling adequately, particularly the patients’ own microflora in the oropharnyx or the gut.
KeywordsSelective Digestive Decontamination Selective Decontamination Selective Oropharyngeal Decontamination Tensive Care Unit Intestinal Decontamination
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