Nosocomial infection caused by antibiotic-resistant organisms in the intensive-care unit.

J. P. Flaherty*, R. A. Weinstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

87 Scopus citations

Abstract

Resistance to antimicrobial agents is an evolving process, driven by the selective pressure of heavy antibiotic use in individuals living in close proximity to others. The intensive care unit (ICU), crowded with debilitated patients who are receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics and being cared for by busy physicians, nurses, and technicians, serves as an ideal environment for the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Problem pathogens presently include multiply resistant gram-negative bacilli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and the recently emerged vancomycin-resistant enterococci. The prevention of antimicrobial resistance in ICUs should focus on recognition via routine unit-based surveillance, improved compliance with handwashing and barrier precautions, and antibiotic-use policies tailored to individual units within hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-248
Number of pages13
JournalInfection control and hospital epidemiology : the official journal of the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists of America
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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