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Antimicrobial De-Escalation in Critically Ill Patients: A Position Statement From a Task Force of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Critically Ill Patients Study Group (ESGCIP)

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Antimicrobial De-Escalation in Critically Ill Patients: A Position Statement From a Task Force of the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) Critically Ill Patients Study Group (ESGCIP)

Alexis Tabah et al. Intensive Care Med.

Abstract

Background: Antimicrobial de-escalation (ADE) is a strategy of antimicrobial stewardship, aiming at preventing the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) by decreasing the exposure to broad-spectrum antimicrobials. There is no high-quality research on ADE and its effects on AMR. Its definition varies and there is little evidence-based guidance for clinicians to use ADE in the intensive care unit (ICU).

Methods: A task force of 16 international experts was formed in November 2016 to provide with guidelines for clinical practice to develop questions targeted at defining ADE, its effects on the ICU population and to provide clinical guidance. Groups of 2 experts were assigned 1-2 questions each within their field of expertise to provide draft statements and rationale. A Delphi method, with 3 rounds and an agreement threshold of 70% was required to reach consensus.

Results: We present a comprehensive document with 13 statements, reviewing the evidence on the definition of ADE, its effects in the ICU population and providing guidance for clinicians in subsets of clinical scenarios where ADE may be considered.

Conclusion: ADE remains a topic of controversy due to the complexity of clinical scenarios where it may be applied and the absence of evidence to the effects it may have on antimicrobial resistance.

Keywords: Antimicrobial de-escalation; Antimicrobial resistance; De-escalation; Stewardship.

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