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Meric M, Baykara N, Aksoy S, Kol IO, Yilmaz G, Beyazit N, Mete B, Vahaboglu H
Correspondence: Dr Meliha Meric, firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction This study aimed to determine the incidence and risk factors of infections among patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs) in tertiary care hospitals in Turkey.
Methods Adult patients who were admitted to the ICUs of five tertiary care hospitals for over 48 hours between June and December 2007 were monitored daily. Potential risk factors such as age, gender, comorbidities, diagnosis at admission, severity of disease (Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation II scores), exposure to antibiotics, history of invasive procedures and significant medical interventions were evaluated. A multivariate analysis of these risk factors was carried out using Cox regression.
Results A total of 313 patients with a median ICU stay of 12 days were selected for the study. 236 infectious episodes (33.8/1,000 ICU-days) were diagnosed among 134 patients (42.8/100 patients) in this group. Multivariate analysis revealed that exposure to a cephalosporin antibiotic (hazard ratio [95% confidence interval] 1.55 [1.10–2.19]) was an independent risk factor, whereas having a tracheostomy cannula (0.53 [0.36–0.81]) or nasogastric tube (0.48 [0.33–0.70]) was protective. Patients admitted to the ICUs from surgical wards were significantly more exposed to cephalosporins.
Conclusion ICU-associated infections, which are quite high in Turkey, are largely due to inadequate infrastructure and facilities and understaffing. Abuse of antibiotics, particularly in patients who have undergone surgery, and prolonged ICU stays are significant risk factors for such infections.
Keywords: cephalosporins, intensive care units, multicentre study, nosocomial infections, risk factors
Singapore Med J 2012; 53(4): 260–263