Curr Opin Crit Care. 2022 Oct 1;28(5):551-556. doi: 10.1097/MCC.0000000000000967. Epub 2022 Aug 4.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The optimal use of antimicrobials is necessary to slow resistance development and improve patient outcomes. Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is a bundle of interventions aimed at promoting the responsible use of antiinfectives. The ICU is an important field of activity for AMS because of high rates of antimicrobial use, high prevalence of resistant pathogens and complex pharmacology. This review discusses aims and interventions of AMS with special emphasis on the ICU.
RECENT FINDINGS: AMS-interventions can improve the quality and quantity of antimicrobial prescribing in the ICU without compromising patient outcomes. The de-escalation of empiric therapy according to microbiology results and the limitation of treatment duration are important steps to reduce resistance pressure. Owing to the complex nature of critical illness, the pharmacological optimization of antimicrobial therapy is an important goal in the ICU. AMS-objectives and strategies are also applicable to patients with sepsis. This is reflected in the most recent guidelines by the Surviving Sepsis Campaign. AMS-interventions need to be adapted to their respective setting and be mindful of local prescribing cultures and prescribers' attitudes.
SUMMARY: AMS in the ICU is effective and safe. Intensivists should be actively involved in AMS-programs and propagate responsible use of antimicrobials.