Lower respiratory tract infections following cardiac arrest and cardiopulmonary resuscitation

Jordi Rello, Jordi Vallés, Paola Jubert, Antoni Ferrer, Christian Domingo, Dolors Mariscal, Dionisia Fontanals, Antoni Artigas

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30 Citations (Scopus)


All episodes of lower respiratory tract infection that developed among 96 patients surviving for >24 hours after cardiac arrest were prospectively studied over an 18-month period. Pneumonia developed in 23 (24.0%) of patients after a mean of 7 days (SD, ±6.2 days). The development of four superinfections raised the cumulative incidence to 28.1%. Purulent tracheobronchitis was diagnosed in three instances. The causative agent of pneumonia was identified in 18 episodes, three of which were polymicrobial. Gram-positive cocci represented 57.1% of isolates, and Staphylococcus aureus—the most frequently isolated microorganism in this population—accounted for two-thirds of all gram-positive cocci. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated in six episodes, five of which were associated with previous antibiotic use. Nine (39.1%) of the 23 patients in the group with pneumonia died, but only one of these deaths was considered to be directly related to pneumonia. In conclusion, pneumonia is a common complication of patients surviving cardiac arrest, but, with adequate treatment, its influence on outcome is marginal. Gram-positive cocci are the predominant pathogens, although infection with P. aeruginosa should be considered among patients receiving antibiotics. © 1995 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-314
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


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