The importance of active surveillance in the intensive care unit of Galliera Hospital in Genoa. Analysis of bacterial strains isolated in 2006-2007

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Maurizio Dallera *
David Usiglio
Paola Fabbri
Nadia Cenderello
Gianluca Ottria
Maria Paola Crisalli
Giovanni Cassola
Maria Luisa Cristina
Paola Sansone
Mauro Nelli
Marco Mori
(*) Corresponding Author:
Maurizio Dallera |


Introduction. The risk of infection is higher in intensive care units than in other hospital departments for a number of reasons: the often serious condition of the patients, the invasive diagnostic and therapeutic procedures performed, the indiscriminate use of broad-spectrum antibiotics and the administration of immunosuppressive drugs. Aims. The present study aimed, on the one hand, to assess the importance of surveillance in the intensive care unit as a means of evaluating healthcare and management procedures and detecting epidemics and “sentinel” microorganisms, and, on the other, to gather up-to-date information on resistance to antibiotics in order to guide proper empirical therapy. Materials and methods.We conducted a retrospective analysis of the microbiological examinations carried out in the period 2006-2007 in the intensive care unit of Galliera Hospital in Genoa. Microbiological surveillance reports and those with antibiograms were picked out.The microorganisms most frequently isolated in the total of samples were listed and then subdivided according to the sample type (respiratory or blood) from which they were isolated. The antibiotic resistance of these microorganisms was subsequently evaluated. Results. Data analysis revealed that S. aureus was the microorganism most frequently isolated in the total of samples (15.6%), followed by S. epidermidis (11.6%) and E. coli (11.1%).With regard to the respiratory samples, S. aureus again proved to be the most frequently isolated strain (18.7%), while S. epidermidis was isolated from a higher percentage of blood cultures (36.7%). Conclusions. The results obtained confirm the utility of infection surveillance procedures in departments at risk, such as intensive care units.

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