Surgical infections in the critically ill

Curr Opin Crit Care. 2002 Oct;8(5):449-52. doi: 10.1097/00075198-200210000-00013.


Surgical infections in the critically ill patient population are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. Intra-abdominal and surgical soft-tissue infections are responsible for a significant proportion of the disease burden. Multiple risk factors have been identified that are associated with the development of surgical infections and subsequent morbidity and mortality. The microbiologic spectrum associated with these infections is broad and is determined by the site from which the infection arises and whether the infection is community acquired or nosocomial in origin. The diagnosis and management of these infections require a high index of suspicion, prompt surgical intervention, and adequate antibiotic therapy and resuscitation. Therefore, these infections present a challenge to the intensivist caring for a critically ill patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Risk Factors
  • Surgical Wound Infection* / diagnosis
  • Surgical Wound Infection* / epidemiology
  • Surgical Wound Infection* / therapy