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Highly Accessed Review

Year in review 2012: Critical Care - respiratory infections

Girish B Nair1 and Michael S Niederman23*

Author Affiliations

1 Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Winthrop-University Hospital, 222 Station Plaza N., Suite 509, Mineola, NY 11501, USA

2 Department of Medicine, Winthrop-University Hospital, 222 Station Plaza N., Suite 509, Mineola, NY 11501, USA

3 Department of Medicine, SUNY at Stony Brook, 101 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA

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Critical Care 2013, 17:251  doi:10.1186/cc12773

Published: 22 November 2013

Abstract

Over the last two decades, considerable progress has been made in the understanding of disease mechanisms and infection control strategies related to infections, particularly pneumonia, in critically ill patients. Patient-centered and preventative strategies assume paramount importance in this era of limited health-care resources, in which effective targeted therapy is required to achieve the best outcomes. Risk stratification using severity scores and inflammatory biomarkers is a promising strategy for identifying sick patients early during their hospital stay. The emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens is becoming a major hurdle in intensive care units. Cooperation, education, and interaction between multiple disciplines in the intensive care unit are required to limit the spread of resistant pathogens and to improve care. In this review, we summarize findings from major publications over the last year in the field of respiratory infections in critically ill patients, putting an emphasis on a newer understanding of pathogenesis, use of biomarkers, and antibiotic stewardship and examining new treatment options and preventive strategies.