The Lancet, Volume 361, Issue 9374, Pages 2068 - 2077, 14 June 2003 <Previous Article|Next Article>doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13644-6Cite or Link Using DOI

Prof Jean-Louis Vincent MD a

Nosocomial infections affect about 30% of patients in intensive-care units and are associated with substantial morbidity and mortality. Several risk factors have been identified, including the use of catheters and other invasive equipment, and certain groups of patients-eg, those with trauma or burns-are recognised as being more susceptible to nosocomial infection than others. Awareness of these factors and adherence to simple preventive measures, such as adequate hand hygiene, can limit the burden of disease. Management of nosocomial infection relies on adequate and appropriate antibiotic therapy, which should be selected after discussion with infectious-disease specialists and adapted as microbiological data become available.