Healthcare-associated infections acquired in intensive care units
Intensive care units (ICUs) are the hospital wards with the highest prevalence of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). The majority of HAIs in ICUs are associated with the use of invasive devices (e.g. endotracheal tubes, vascular and urinary catheters), and a significant proportion of these HAIs is considered preventable. Moreover, the burden of antimicrobial resistance is high in ICUs, due to the severity of the clinical condition of the patients, the frequent use of antibiotics and varying infection prevention and control practices. Strengthening infection prevention and control practices and implementing antimicrobial stewardship are essential measures to prevent HAIs and the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in ICUs.
Surveillance of infections acquired in ICUs specifically targets a group of patients at high risk of morbidity and mortality associated with healthcare-associated infections (HAI).