ACS: Drug-Resistant Infections Rise but Mortality Declines

Surgical ICU drug-resistant infections rise between 2000 and 2010, but mortality drops by 4 percent

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 26 (HealthDay News) -- One surgical intensive care unit (ICU) registered an increased rate of drug-resistant infections between 2000 and 2010 but had a decrease in its all-cause mortality rate, according to a study presented at the annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons, held from Oct. 23 to 27 in San Francisco.

Laura Horst Rosenberger, M.D., from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and colleagues investigated whether ICU drug-resistance was associated with an increase in overall mortality. A total of 799 resistant pathogens associated with 1,493 ICU-acquired infections in a single surgical/trauma ICU between 2000 and 2010 were identified. Drug-resistance trends were compared to the death rates of patients who had infectious complications in the ICU.

The investigators found that although the rates of drug-resistant infections increased during the 10-year study period, there was a 4 percent decrease in all-cause mortality rates for patients from this surgical ICU. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the most common Gram-positive and Gram-negative pathogens, respectively. Lung, blood, and urine were the most common sites of infection.

"The bottom line is that we think that these patients who have infection are not dying from that infection after all; however, they die with that infection," Rosenberger said in a statement.

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