Preventive antibiotics use cuts ICU death rates

January 1st, 2009 - 5:32 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jan 1 (ANI): Giving antibiotics to patients in intensive care units to fight bacterial infections can significantly increase their chances of survival, according to a new study.

During the study, the researchers compared the effect of two kinds of antibiotic treatments with the standard ICU care.

Nearly 6000 patients were divided in three groups. One of the groups received an oral antibiotic paste four times a day, reports The New England Journal of Medicine.

The second group was given the oral paste four times daily, and received antibiotics through a gastric tube in the intestinal tract and by intravenous drip.

The third group was the control group and received the standard ICU

After four weeks, the researchers found fewer people had died in the groups that received antibiotics than in the control group.

The preventive use of antibiotics reduced the number of deaths by 3.5 percent (oral antibiotic paste, and antibiotics in the intestinal tract and by intravenous drip) and 2.9 percent (oral antibiotic paste).

The number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria did not increase in these patients.

The findings appear in The New England Journal of Medicine. (ANI)

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