Hospital-Acquired Infections in the Surgical Intensive Care: Epidemiology and Prevention

Robert L. Smith, R. G. Sawyer, T. L. Pruett

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Hospital-acquired infections affect 7% to 10% of hospitalized patients and account for approximately 80 000 deaths per year in the United States. Of all infections acquired in the hospital, more than 20% occur in intensive care unit patients. As the number of ICU beds increases, the proportion of ICU infections is likely to increase. The focus of this paper is to review the epidemiology of hospital-acquired infections that occur in the surgical ICU, particularly ventilator associated pneumonia, catheter-associated urinary tract infection, and catheter-related bloodstream infection, and to discuss ICU-related prevention strategies. By implementing effective preventative measures and maintaining strict surveillance of ICU infections, we hope to affect the associated morbidity, mortality, and cost that our patients and society bare.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1047-1061
Number of pages15
JournalZentralblatt fur Chirurgie
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003


  • Catheter-associated urinary tract infection
  • Catheter-related bloodstream infection
  • Epidemiology
  • Hospital-acquired infection
  • Prevention
  • Ventilator associated pneumonia


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