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Editorials |

Antibiotics in the Critically IllBug, Drug, Host: The Bug, Drug, Host Triad

Andrew F. Shorr, MD, MPH, FCCP
Author and Funding Information

From Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington Hospital Center.

Correspondence to: Andrew F. Shorr, MD, MPH, FCCP, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Washington Hospital Center, Rm 2A-68, 110 Irving St NW, Washington, DC 20010; e-mail: Andrew.shorr@gmail.com

Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST the following conflicts of interest: Dr Shorr has served as a consultant to, speaker for, or received grant support from Astellas Pharma, Bayer, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Forrest, Pfizer Inc, Theravance Inc, and Trius Therapeutics. However, there are no specific conflicts relative to the content of this editorial.


Financial/nonfinancial disclosures: The author has reported to CHEST the following conflicts of interest: Dr Shorr has served as a consultant to, speaker for, or received grant support from Astellas Pharma, Bayer, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Forrest, Pfizer Inc, Theravance Inc, and Trius Therapeutics. However, there are no specific conflicts relative to the content of this editorial.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2012;142(1):8-10. doi:10.1378/chest.11-3325
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Extract

Pulmonary and critical care physicians are both users and abusers of antibiotics. Whether in the clinic, on the wards, or in the ICU, antibiotics represent one of our most often used tools. The amount of antibiotics given annually in the ICU alone can be measured in gross tonnage.1 Despite the frequency with which we order antibiotics, it remains fascinating how little we know about these compounds. In fact, the history of antibiotic prescribing is a story filled with hubris. The explosion in antimicrobial resistance underscores the veracity of this observation. Recent research, however, has clearly revealed that many assumptions that underlie our approach to antibiotic use are flawed and, perhaps, dangerous.

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