Nov 27, 2016
Sepsis is incredibly dangerous for our patients and very topical in
ICU and Emergency. In intensive care and emergency medicine we
rightly dissect and discuss extensively how best to resuscitate
patients, Airway, Breathing, Circulation – the ABC! Our training
focuses on the urgency and adequacy of resuscitation and the
provision of excellent supportive care. However, for the critically
ill, especially in sepsis, we have very few therapies available
that actually change the natural history of illness and can cure
our patients. Surely that is what being a doctor is all about –
helping people and changing the course of their illness – giving
the patient a chance to survive!
Over 75% of patients in ICU will receive antibiotics and the choice, timing and dose will directly influence your patients chance of surviving. Antibiotics are one of the few truly disease modifying therapies we have available and by far the one we utilize the most.
In addition, no other therapy is important to not only get right for the patient you are treating but, in the case of antibiotics, the therapy for one patient may influence other patients. Attention to correct antibiotic use might save the patient in front of you. However thoughtless antibiotic use might make it harder to save the next patient by increasing antibiotic resistance in your unit.
How and why must we get antibiotics right?