The prescribing of antibiotics in the ICU is usually empiric, given
the critical nature of the conditions of patients hospitalized there.
Appropriate antibiotic utilization in this setting is crucial not only
in ensuring an optimal outcome, but in curtailing the emergence of
resistance and containing costs. We propose that research in the ICUs
is vitally important in guiding antibiotic prescription practices and,
therefore, the achievement of above-stated goals. There is wide
institutional diversity in the relative prevalence of predominant
pathogens and their antimicrobial susceptibilities, and within
individual ICUs there exist unique patient populations with varying
risks for and susceptibilities to infections and specific pathogens.
Appropriate antibiotic prescription practices should be formulated
based on surveillance studies and research at individual ICUs; these
goals can be accomplished utilizing existing