Antimicrobial Therapy for ICU-Acquired Infection: Time for a Reappraisal

  • J. C. Marshall
  • D. C. Evans
Conference paper
Part of the Yearbook of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine book series (YEARBOOK, volume 1998)


Infections acquired in the intensive care unit (ICU) commonly complicate the course of critical illness. Approximately one fourth to one third of patients admitted to an ICU develop one or more episodes of nosocomial infection [1]; both mortality and morbidity are sharply elevated in this population [2] (Table 1). Yet the extent to which such infections are the cause of excess morbidity and mortality, rather than an additional manifestation of organ dysfunction in a subset of the sickest of critically ill patients, is unclear. Equally, although antibiotics are among the most prescribed pharmaceutical agents in contemporary ICUs, it is not at all established that their widespread use in the management of suspected or proven ICU-acquired infection results in net clinical benefit. Indeed there are reasons to suspect that the opposite may be true. A recent analysis of nosocomial infection following cardiac surgery found that the administration of empiric post-operative antibiotics was an independent risk factor for the development of subsequent nosocomial infection [3].


Nosocomial Infection Antimicrobial Therapy Intensive Care Unit Patient Multiple Organ Dysfunction Syndrome Nosocomial Pneumonia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. C. Marshall
  • D. C. Evans

There are no affiliations available

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