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Antibiotic Prescriptions in Critically???Ill Patients: A Latin American Experience

Author(s): Curcio D, On behalf of the Latin American Antibiotic Use in Intensive Care Unit Group

Background: It is widely acknowledged that the presence of infection is an important outcome determinant for intensive care unit (ICU) patients. In fact, antibiotics are one of the most common therapies administered in the ICU settings. Aim: To evaluate the current usage of antibiotics in Latin American ICUs. Subjects and Methods: A one‑day p‑oint prevalence study to investigate the patterns of antibiotic was undertaken in 72 Latin American (LA) ICUs. Data was analyzed using the Statistix 8 statistical software, version 2.0 (USA). Results were expressed as proportions. When applicable, two tailed hypothesis testing for difference in proportions was used (Proportion Test); a P value of <0.05 was considered significant. Results: Of 704 patients admitted, 359 received antibiotic treatment on the day of the study (51%), of which 167/359 cases (46.5%) were due to hospital‑acquired infections. The most frequent infection reorted was nosocomial pneumonia (74/359, 21%). Only in 264/359 patients (73.5%), cultures before starting antibiotic treatment were performed. Thirty‑eight percent of the isolated microorganisms were Enterobacteriaceae extended‑spectrum β‑lactamase‑producing, 11% methicillin‑resistant Staphylococcus aureus and 10% carbapenems‑resistant non‑fermentative Gram‑negatives. The antibiotics most frequently prescribed were carbapenems (125/359, 35%), alone or in combination with vancomycin or other antibiotic. There were no significant differences in the “restricted” antibiotic prescription (carbapenems, vancomycin, piperacillin–tazobactam, broad‑spectrum cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, tigecycline and linezolid) between patients with APACHE II score at the beginning of the antibiotic treatment <15 [83/114 (72.5%)] and ≥15 [179/245 (73%)] (P = 0.96). Only 29% of the antibiotic treatments were cultured directed (104/359). Conclusion: Carbapenems (alone or in combination) were the most frequently prescribed antibiotics in LA ICUs. However, the problem of carbapenem resistance in LA requires that physicians improve the use of this class of antibiotics. Our findings show that our web‑based method for collection of one‑day point prevalence was implemented successfully. However, based on the limitations of the model used, the results of this study must be taken with caution.


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