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Chest. 2001 Dec;120(6):2059-93.

Infection control in the ICU.

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  • 1Medical Intensive Care Unit, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Geneva Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland.

Abstract

Nosocomial infections (NIs) now concern 5 to 15% of hospitalized patients and can lead to complications in 25 to 33% of those patients admitted to ICUs. The most common causes are pneumonia related to mechanical ventilation, intra-abdominal infections following trauma or surgery, and bacteremia derived from intravascular devices. This overview is targeted at ICU physicians to convince them that the principles of infection control in the ICU are based on simple concepts and that the application of preventive strategies should not be viewed as an administrative or constraining control of their activity but, rather, as basic measures that are easy to implement at the bedside. A detailed knowledge of the epidemiology, based on adequate surveillance methodologies, is necessary to understand the pathophysiology and the rationale of preventive strategies that have been demonstrated to be effective. The principles of general preventive measures such as the implementation of standard and isolation precautions, and the control of antibiotic use are reviewed. Specific practical measures, targeted at the practical prevention and control of ventilator-associated pneumonia, sinusitis, and bloodstream, urinary tract, and surgical site infections are detailed. Recent data strongly confirm that these strategies may only be effective over prolonged periods if they can be integrated into the behavior of all staff members who are involved in patient care. Accordingly, infection control measures are to be viewed as a priority and have to be integrated fully into the continuous process of improvement of the quality of care.

PMID:
11742943
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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