Infections in Immunocompromised Host

First Things First (assess & treat for the following)

  • Rapid assessment of vital signs, including oxygen saturation and tissue perfusion
  • Potential etiologies:
    • Common, community-acquired bacterial and viral diseases
    • Uncommon opportunistic infections
    • Multiple simultaneous processes are common.
  • Early imaging (CT scan) and tissue-based diagnosis (histopathology and cultures) are critical to survival of the immunocompromised patient with pneumonia.
  • Microbicidal therapy must be started as soon as possible.
  • Inflammatory responses are impaired by immunosuppressive therapy, which results in diminished symptoms and muted clinical and radiologic findings.
  • Infections are often advanced (ie, disseminated) at the time of clinical presentation.
  • The choice of antimicrobial regimens is often more complex.
  • Antimicrobial resistance is increased.
  • Surgical intervention is often necessary.

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Last updated: May 18, 2010