In this episode, I’ll discuss whether a short course of antibiotics for critically ill patients with postoperative intra-abdominal infection is just as good as a standard course.
To answer this clinical question, researchers conducted a randomized trial in 21 ICUs in France. Eligible patients needed to have adequate source control achieved and antibiotics started promptly.
126 patients were assigned to an 8 day course of antibiotics and 123 patients were assigned to a 15 day course. There was no statistical difference found in rates of 45-day mortality, ICU and hospital length of stay, emergence of MDR bacteria or reoperation rate.
The authors concluded that:
Short-course antibiotic therapy in critically ill ICU patients with PIAI reduces antibiotic exposure. Continuation of treatment until day 15 is not associated with any clinical benefit.
When applying these study results to practice, it is important to remember the study applies to patients that achieved adequate source control.
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