Bacteremia in the elderly Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Bacteremia is an increasingly significant health problem among the elderly. Older adults may present with atypical manifestations of bacteremia. In addition, there are age-related differences in etiologic agents and corresponding resistance patterns. Important factors to consider when prescribing antibiotics for older adults with bacteremia include the severity and source of infection, antimicrobial susceptibility of the organism and renal function. The association between increasing age and poor outcomes in patients with bacteremia is well established. Despite the current paucity of data, the understanding of the natural history of bacteremia in the elderly should not be limited to mortality but should also focus on functional status, cognitive function and the eventual need for long-term care. Appropriate management of bacteremia in the elderly requires timely administration of broad-spectrum antibiotics in addition to managing key geriatric issues. Further studies are required to assess the impact of using broader outcomes other than mortality when addressing bacteremia in the elderly.

publication date

  • December 2009