Objective: To evaluate the relation between antimicrobial use and resistance in intensive-care unit (ICU) and non-ICU inpatient areas in eight US hospitals.
Methods: We determined antimicrobial use in terms of defined daily doses, antimicrobial-use density (defined daily doses/1,000 patient days), and percentage resistance for five antimicrobial-organism combinations in the ICU and non-ICU inpatient areas of eight US hospitals participating in project Intensive Care Antimicrobial Resistance Epidemiology.
Results: Antimicrobial resistance and use varied tremendously among the eight hospitals. Antimicrobial resistance among these five nosocomial pathogens was significantly higher within the inpatient setting of these hospitals, compared with the outpatient setting. One hospital consistently ranked highest for use of all classes of antimicrobials examined. High antimicrobial use was not associated necessarily with high resistance for a particular antimicrobial-organism pair.
Conclusion: Antimicrobial use varied significantly across these hospitals, but generally was higher in ICUs. These results suggest that concomitant surveillance of both antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial use is helpful in interpreting antimicrobial resistance in a hospital or ICU and that further analysis is required to determine the role of variables other than antimicrobial use in a statistical model for predicting antimicrobial resistance.