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Nosocomial pneumonia 

Nosocomial pneumonia
Chapter:
Nosocomial pneumonia
Author(s):

Wei Shen Lim

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198746690.003.0404
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date: 28 February 2021

Nosocomial pneumonia is generally defined as a new pulmonary infiltrate on chest radiography, combined with evidence of infection expressed as fever, purulent respiratory secretions, and/or leucocytosis, with onset 48 hours or more after admission. It is the most frequent lethal nosocomial infection (overall mortality 7% in general ward inpatients to over 50% in critically ill patients). Most cases are caused by Gram-negative bacteria (50–70%) or Staphylococcus aureus (15–30%). Gram-negative bacteria reach the lung by aspiration of gastric contents or by microaspiration of upper airway secretions; throat cultures reveal that 60–75% of patients on intensive care units are colonized by these organisms (compared to 2–6% of healthy people).

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