Critically ill patients are at increased risk of acquiring nosocomial infections. A thorough clinical evaluation and the selection of appropriate diagnostic techniques are important elements in the evaluation of these patients. Nonetheless, this selection process can be difficult because of the wide spectrum of disease that is seen in the ICU and the lack of standardized studies that have evaluated the different diagnostic methods that are available. Many different antimicrobials are available for the treatment of ICU-acquired infections. Most antimicrobial regimens have not been evaluated in large-scale, prospective, randomized trials. Until this information is available, the clinician must make an effort to be familiar with the different clinical and epidemiologic variables that can be used to stratify patients at the moment of selecting antimicrobial therapy. The information provided in this article, used in association with good clinical judgment, will help the critical care physician provide optimal initial management of the infected patient in the ICU.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine