Less empiric broad-spectrum antibiotics is more in the ICU

  • Jose Mauro da Fonseca Pestana Ribeiro
  • Marcelo ParkEmail author
Less is more in Intensive Care

Antibiotics are administered in approximately 71% of patients who are admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) and have helped to save millions of lives [1]. However, up to half of all antibiotic prescriptions may be unnecessary [2]. Antibiotic overuse has contributed to alarmingly high levels of global antibiotic resistance, which is increasing at a rate faster than that at which novel antibiotics are produced. Therefore, finding a fine balance between the appropriate use and avoidance of unnecessary administration is crucial to prevent the renaissance of a new world without antibiotics [2].

Antibiotics clinical effects

Antibiotics largely reduce mortality associated with moderate and severe infections, with a historical number-needed-to-treat estimated in 5.3 for severe pneumonia patients [3]. Infection progressing to sepsis is the leading cause of death in ICU patients and can be potentially treated using antibiotics, along with organ dysfunction support, and infection source...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Hospital das ClínicasUniversity of São Paulo Medical SchoolSão PauloBrazil

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