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Nosocomial Infection Caused by Antibiotic-Resistant Organisms in the Intensive-Care Unit

John P. Flaherty and Robert A. Weinstein
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 17, No. 4 (Apr., 1996), pp. 236-248
DOI: 10.2307/30141027
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30141027
Page Count: 13
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Nosocomial Infection Caused by Antibiotic-Resistant Organisms in the Intensive-Care Unit
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Abstract

Resistance to antimicrobial agents is an evolving process, driven by the selective pressure of heavy antibiotic use in individuals living in close proximity to others. The intensive care unit (ICU), crowded with debilitated patients who are receiving broad-spectrum antibiotics and being cared for by busy physicians, nurses, and technicians, serves as an ideal environment for the emergence of antibiotic resistance. Problem pathogens presently include multiply resistant gram-negative bacilli, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and the recently emerged vancomycin-resistant enterococci. The prevention of antimicrobial resistance in ICUs should focus on recognition via routine unit-based surveillance, improved compliance with hand-washing and barrier precautions, and antibiotic-use policies tailored to individual units within hospitals.

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