Antibiotics Reduce Risk of ICU-Acquired Infection

Two preventive regimens reduce risk of infection with highly resistant microorganisms

MONDAY, March 21 (HealthDay News) -- Critically ill patients given prophylactic antibiotics may be significantly less likely to be infected by intensive care unit (ICU)-acquired, highly resistant microorganisms, according to research published online March 21 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Anne Marie G.A. de Smet, M.D., of the University Medical Centre Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues randomly assigned ICU-admitted patients expected to have more than 48 hours of mechanical ventilation or a stay in excess of 72 hours to a selective digestive tract decontamination (SDD) regimen (1,868 patients), a selective oropharyngeal decontamination (SOD) regimen (1,758 patients), or standard care (1,837 patients), to evaluate the efficacy of the antibiotic regimens for preventing bacteremia and respiratory tract colonization with ICU-acquired highly resistant microorganisms.

The researchers found that the patients treated with SDD were 59 percent less likely to develop bacteremia with highly resistant microorganisms compared to patients who received standard care, and 63 percent less likely than patients on SOD. They also found that SDD reduced the risk of respiratory tract colonization with highly resistant microorganisms by 38 percent compared with standard treatment, while SOD reduced the risk by 32 percent.

"Widespread use of SDD and SOD in ICUs with low levels of antibiotic resistance is justified," the authors conclude.

Two authors disclosed financial relationships with pharmaceutical and other companies.

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