• Vol. 27 No. 2, 223–226
  • 15 March 1998

Survey of Aerobic Bacterial Infections in Paediatric Surgical Intensive Care Unit Patients



Infections cause a significant amount of morbidity and mortality in paediatric surgical patients requiring intensive care. The study aims to describe the epidemiology of infection among these patients, to correlate the source of infection with the underlying medical condition, and to determine the antibiotic sensitivity pattern of the organisms.

Through a retrospective review over a period of one year, 133 cases were analysed. The overall incidence of infection was 35%. Those who had emergency surgery had the highest infection rate (4770). Respiratory tract infections were the commonest source of infection, and were associated with ventilator therapy rather than the underlying medical condition.

The Enterobacteriaceae were the most common isolates seen. From antibiotic sensitivity tests, the empirical antibiotics of choice are gentamicin for suspected gram-negative infection and vancomycin for severe infections where methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is a likely cause. A high rate of resistance to ampicillin was seen and its use as a first-line monotherapy drug should be discontinued in our patient population.

Data on infections in paediatric surgical patients are few in the literature. Although there are many studies on infection in adult surgical and paediatric medical patients, paediatric surgical patients are a special group in their spectrum of diseases and treatment requirements.

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