An Evaluation of Infection Types and the Complications in Hospitalized Elders Admitted in ICU Wards

 Infections acquired in ICU wards is a major part of nosocomial infections in each hospital. Controlling this type of infections can reduce mortality and hospitalization time. An important and high-risk target group for these infections involves older adults. This study aimed to investigate the infections acquired in ICU among older adults as well as contributors to and complications of these infections. 

Methods & Materials

 In this descriptive, analytic study, all the elderly patients (>60 y) hospitalized in two ICUs wards of teaching hospitals of Birjand University of Medical Sciences during 2015 were included. The patients who were being treated by antibiotics or were unwilling to participate or had preliminary positive cultures were excluded. After 72 hours of hospitalization in ICU, a set of participants’ samples including blood, urine, wounds, lung discharges, and sputum were cultured. In the positive samples, factors associated with the infection, such as age, sex, initial disease, catheterization, and the complications were examined.


 In this study, 417 older adults (>60 y) hospitalized in Imam Reza and Vali-e-Asr Hospitals of Birjand with Mean±SD age of 74.04±8.9 years were entered in the study. Among them, 255 (61.2%) patients were in Imam Reza Hospital and the remaining were in Vali-e-Asr Hospital. Men were accounted for 45.8% (n=191) of participants. The infection had a frequency of 18.7% (n=78). Men showed a higher rate of infection than women (24.1% vs 14.2%; P=0.01). Infections increased significantly as hospitalization time increased (i.e., 2.7% in patients with <5 days, 30.2% in patients with 5-10 days; 67.2% in patients with >10 days of hospitalization; P>0.001). The most common infection was respiratory infection observed in 42 (53.8%) of cases followed by urinary infections. There was no significant correlation between age and infection occurrence. Correlation was found neither between infection and mortality, nor between age and mortality. Infection rates was significantly greater in the internal diseases ICU (35.8%) than in the surgery ICU (7.8%) (P<0.001). 


 Elderly adults hospitalized in the ICU are prone to infections. Thus, the hospitalization time and the intubation times should be reduced as far as possible.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Iranian Journal of Ageing, Volume:15 Issue: 57, 2020
118 - 128  
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