In a large cohort of patients from 5 intensive care units (ICUs), patients who developed bloodstream infections while in the unit were 7 times more likely to die that those who did not develop such infections. In addition, researchers found that the mortality rate among the less severely ill ICU patients who developed a bloodstream infection was higher than that for more severely ill patients. The researchers found that among 2,783 ICU adult patients, 269 developed a unit-associated bloodstream infection over approximately a 20-month study period. According to the authors, bloodstream infections are a common healthcare associated infection among intensive care unit patients. They said that most bloodstream infections stem from intravascular catheters. Catheter-associated bloodstream infections represent approximately 15 percent of all ICU infections. In this study, 10 percent of the study population had documented ICU-associated bloodstream infections during their ICU stay. Of the 269 patients with documented bloodstream infections, 140 (56 percent) died in the hospital. Cirrhosis of the liver and admission to the hospital for more than 2 days before ICU admission were also found to significantly increase the death rate. This assemblage of patients represented the largest group ever studied to assess the association between mortality and ICU-associated bloodstream infection. The researchers said that their study supports implementing interventions to prevent bloodstream infection in less severely ill patients in the ICU, as well as in at-risk patients on general medical and surgical floors. The study appears in the second issue for March 2005 of the American Thoracic Society's peer-reviewed American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
THE ASSOCIATION BETWEEN OBESITY AND CHILDHOOD WHEEZING AND ASTHMA