Background: Because Acinetobacter baumannii bacteremia is a global problem, we were motivated to characterize this disease in Taiwan.
Patients and methods: We analyzed findings in 95 patients with documented A. baumannii bacteremia between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2000 (47 men, 48 women; mean age 58.8 years).
Results: The mean length of stay in the hospital was 44.0 days. Clinically, 76 patients had fever and 35 patients developed shock. Fifty patients had respiratory tract infections; 24, urinary tract infections; 11, intra-abdominal infections; three, CNS infections; and two, catheter-related infections. Five patients had primary bacteremia. Empirical antibiotic therapy was initiated at the onset of the clinical signs of infection. Antimicrobial susceptibility test results were variable. 47 patients died and 48 survived; the mortality rate for A. baumannii bacteremia was 45.3% (43/95).
Conclusion: Physicians should pay attention to this infection because the early identification of high-risk patients could facilitate prophylaxis and potentially reduce associated problems.