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Infections and antimicrobial resistance in the intensive care unit: Epidemiology and prevention

Dror Marchaim, MD
Keith Kaye, MD, MPH
Section Editor
Anthony Harris, MD, MPH
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


Although intensive care units (ICUs) account for fewer than 10 percent of total beds in most hospitals, more than 20 percent of all nosocomial infections are acquired in ICUs [1]. ICU-acquired infections account for substantial morbidity, mortality, and expense. Infections and sepsis are the leading cause of death in noncardiac ICUs and account for 40 percent of all ICU expenditures [2].

The epidemiology of nosocomial ICU infections and antimicrobial resistance in ICUs will be discussed here. The most important nosocomial infections in the ICU, namely catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSIs), ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP), and catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs), will be discussed briefly here and in more detail separately:

(See "Catheter-associated urinary tract infection in adults" and "Complications of urinary bladder catheters and preventive strategies".)

(See "Epidemiology, pathogenesis, microbiology, and diagnosis of hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia in adults" and "Treatment of hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia in adults" and "Risk factors and prevention of hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia in adults".)

(See "Epidemiology, pathogenesis, and microbiology of intravascular catheter infections" and "Treatment of intravascular catheter-related infections" and "Prevention of intravascular catheter-related infections".)

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Feb 09, 2017.
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