Antimicrobial use and microbiological testing in district general hospital ICUs of the Veneto region of north-east Italy

P. Benedetti , A. M. Sefton, M. Menegozzo, C. Guerriero, G. Bordignon , G. Da Rin, C. Romualdi , G. Pellizzer, D. M. Livermore

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International - predominantly American - studies undertaken in the ICUs of teaching centres show that inadequate antibiotic therapy increases mortality and length of stay. We sought to ascertain whether this also pertains to smaller ICUs in the Veneto region of north-east Italy. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first such survey in the Veneto area or in Italy as a whole. A retrospective, observational study was performed across five general-hospital ICUs to examine appropriateness of microbiological sampling, empirical antibiotic adequacy, and outcomes. Among 911 patients (mean age, 65.8 years ± 16.2 SD; median ICU stay, 17.0 days [IQR, 8.0–29.0]), 757 (83.1 %) were given empirical antibiotics. Treatment adequacy could be fully assessed in only 212 patients (28.0 %), who received empirical treatment and who had a relevant clinical sample collected at the initiation of this antibiotic (T0). Many other patients only had delayed microbiological investigation of their infections between day 1 and day 10 of therapy. Mortality was significantly higher among the 34.9 % of patients receiving inadequate treatment (48.6 % vs 18.80 %; p < 0.001). Only 32.5 % of combination regimens comprised a broad-spectrum Gram-negative β-lactam plus an anti-MRSA agent, and many combinations were irrational. Inadequate treatment was frequent and was strongly associated with mortality; moreover, there was delayed microbiological investigation of many infections, precluding appropriate treatment modification and de-escalation. Improvements in these aspects and in antibiotic stewardship are being sought.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1627–1638
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases
Issue number10
Early online date15 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • Intensive Care Unit
  • Acute Renal Failure
  • Adequate Antimicrobial Therapy
  • Septic Shock
  • Linezolid
  • Antibiotic Stewardship
  • Inadequate Antimicrobial Treatment
  • Glycopeptide
  • Initial Antibiotic Therapy
  • Trauma Patient
  • Hospital Mortality

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