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Contempo 1998
May 27, 1998

Risk Factors for ICU-Acquired Pneumonia

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Medicine and Clinical Epidemiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (Dr Cook), and the Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, Mo (Dr Kollef).


Edited by Ronna Henry Siegel, MD, JAMA Fishbein Fellow.

JAMA. 1998;279(20):1605-1606. doi:10.1001/jama.279.20.1605

NOSOCOMIAL pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and the leading cause of death from hospital-acquired infections among adult patients admitted to intensive care units (ICUs).1 This article summarizes recent studies that evaluate risk factors for ICU-acquired pneumonia in critically ill patients. There are several clinical implications of these studies. Risk factors offer prognostic information about the probability of developing lung infection in individual critically ill patients and in populations of such patients. They help us understand some of the pathophysiologic mechanisms that predispose to pneumonia in this setting. Moreover, these mechanistic insights may lead to the development of effective preventive strategies. Finally, risk stratification can highlight which patients may be most likely to benefit from pneumonia prophylaxis.

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