Context: Infection is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in intensive care units (ICUs) worldwide. However, relatively little information is available about the global epidemiology of such infections.
Objective: To provide an up-to-date, international picture of the extent and patterns of infection in ICUs.
Design, setting, and patients: The Extended Prevalence of Infection in Intensive Care (EPIC II) study, a 1-day, prospective, point prevalence study with follow-up conducted on May 8, 2007. Demographic, physiological, bacteriological, therapeutic, and outcome data were collected for 14,414 patients in 1265 participating ICUs from 75 countries on the study day. Analyses focused on the data from the 13,796 adult (>18 years) patients.
Results: On the day of the study, 7087 of 13,796 patients (51%) were considered infected; 9084 (71%) were receiving antibiotics. The infection was of respiratory origin in 4503 (64%), and microbiological culture results were positive in 4947 (70%) of the infected patients; 62% of the positive isolates were gram-negative organisms, 47% were gram-positive, and 19% were fungi. Patients who had longer ICU stays prior to the study day had higher rates of infection, especially infections due to resistant staphylococci, Acinetobacter, Pseudomonas species, and Candida species. The ICU mortality rate of infected patients was more than twice that of noninfected patients (25% [1688/6659] vs 11% [ 682/6352], respectively; P < .001), as was the hospital mortality rate (33% [2201/6659] vs 15% [ 942/6352], respectively; P < .001) (adjusted odds ratio for risk of hospital mortality, 1.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.36-1.68; P < .001).
Conclusions: Infections are common in patients in contemporary ICUs, and risk of infection increases with duration of ICU stay. In this large cohort, infection was independently associated with an increased risk of hospital death.