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Epidemiology and control of nosocomial infections in adult intensive care units

  • Robert A. Weinstein
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests should be addressed to Robert A. Weinstein, M.D., Division of Infectious Diseases, Humana Hospital—Michael Reese, Lake Shore Drive at 31st Street, Chicago, Illinois 60616.
    Affiliations
    Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois USA
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      Abstract

      Traditional infection control measures in intensive care units (ICUs) have been directed at limiting person to person spread of infection and improving care of invasive devices. These measures often fail because they have little effect on patients' endogenous flora, which is an important source of infection in ICUs. Improvements in the design and aseptic care of invasive devices have helped to decrease the risk of progression from colonization to infection in individual patients. Interest is growing also in use of selective decontamination to decrease ICU infection rates. Despite these advances, basic hygiene and appropriate, prospectively monitored use of antibiotics remain essential components of ICU care.
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