NOSOCOMIAL pneumonia is a major cause of morbidity and the leading cause
of death from hospital-acquired infections among adult patients admitted to
intensive care units (ICUs).1 This article
summarizes recent studies that evaluate risk factors for ICU-acquired pneumonia
in critically ill patients. There are several clinical implications of these
studies. Risk factors offer prognostic information about the probability of
developing lung infection in individual critically ill patients and in populations
of such patients. They help us understand some of the pathophysiologic mechanisms
that predispose to pneumonia in this setting. Moreover, these mechanistic
insights may lead to the development of effective preventive strategies. Finally,
risk stratification can highlight which patients may be most likely to benefit
from pneumonia prophylaxis.
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