What are the implications for ICU practice of the increasing incidence of antibiotic resistance?
More focus on techniques for prevention and control:
• hand washing practice, placement of hand basins, use of gloves, use of protective clothing
• isolation techniques (standard precautions, transmission based precautions [airborne, dropJet, contact])
• increasing need for surveillance
More focus on judicious use of antibiotics (individual versus community needs)
• appropriate initial cover, tailor quickly according to results of investigations, stop as soon as no longer needed
• reserve/restrict use of some antibiotics (eg. vancomycin) with use of alternatives whenever possible
Need to alter antibiotic prescribing habits:
• initial antibiotic regimen may not cover infecting organism
• community acquired organisms have more resistance eg. penicillin no longer always useful against streptococcus or haemophilus
• third generation cephalosporios lose value after first week. in hospital
• may have to use uncommonly used antibiotics (intravenous cotrimoxazole)
• broader antibiotic use may increase superinfection (C difficile, fungi, etc.)
• antibiotics used for prophylaxis may need to change accordingly (? vancomycin for cardiac surgery)
• newer antibiotics or combinations used to treat some resistant infections
• additional susceptibility testing required
• invasive lines impregnated (antibacterial) or changed more frequently
• ? prolonged ICU and hospital stay of nosocomial infections
Have no available antibiotics to treat infections with some resistant organisms.
This is another very broad question. The candidate ought to have prepared a prefabricated rant in reponse to this. A solid basis for such a rant may be derived from articles such as this 2011 paper, which discuss the burden of multidrug resistance in the ICU. This question was from 2000, and the authors probably had something like this 1999 paper in mind.
In point form:
Elliott, T. S. J., and P. A. Lambert. "Antibacterial resistance in the intensive care unit: mechanisms and management." British medical bulletin 55.1 (1999): 259-276.
Brusselaers, Nele, Dirk Vogelaers, and Stijn Blot. "The rising problem of antimicrobial resistance in the intensive care unit." Annals of intensive care 1.1 (2011): 1-7.
Niederman, Michael S. "Impact of antibiotic resistance on clinical outcomes and the cost of care." Critical care medicine 29.4 (2001): N114-N120.