Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 12, pp 2063–2065 | Cite as

Understanding antibiotic stewardship for the critically ill

  • J. J. De Waele
  • J. Schouten
  • G. Dimopoulos
Understanding the Disease

Antibiotic stewardship is regarded as one of the key strategies to improve antibiotic therapy in hospital. The aims of antibiotic stewardship are to combat the emergence of antibiotic-resistant strains, to improve clinical outcomes and to control costs [1]. Although more rigorous research is needed, available evidence suggests that antimicrobial stewardship is associated with improved antimicrobial utilization in the intensive care unit (ICU), with corresponding improvements in antimicrobial resistance and adverse events [1], and implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) has been recommended by different societies and agencies [2].

Optimizing antibiotic use in the ICU is particularly important for a number of reasons. First of all, there is a high incidence of difficult to treat infections due to an increase of antibiotic resistance from both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria [3]. Also, antibiotic use is high with more than 70 % of patients being treated with...


Intensive Care Unit Severe Sepsis Procalcitonin Antibiotic Regimen Antimicrobial Stewardship 
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Jan J. De Waele is a Senior Clinical Researcher with the Research Foundation Flanders (Belgium).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Critical Care MedicineGhent University HospitalGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Intensive CareCanisius Wilhelmina HospitalNijmegenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Critical Care, University Hospital Attikon Medical SchoolUniversity of AthensAthensGreece

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