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Medicina Intensiva

versión impresa ISSN 0210-5691


TAYLOR, N. et al. Selective digestive decontamination: Why don’t we apply the evidence in the clinical practice?. Med. Intensiva [online]. 2007, vol.31, n.3, pp.126-132. ISSN 0210-5691.

Selective digestive decontamination (SDD) is a prophylactic strategy whose objective is to reduce the incidence of infections, mainly mechanical ventilation associated pneumonia in patients who require intensive cares, preventing or eradicating the oropharyngeal and gastrointestinal carrier state of potentially pathogenic microorganisms. Fifty-four randomized clinical trials (RCTs) and 9 meta-analysis have evaluated SDD. Thirty eight RCTs show a significant reduction of the infections and 4 of mortality. All the meta-analyses show a significant reduction of the infections and 5 out of the 9 meta-analyses report a significant reduction in mortality. Thus, 5 patients from the ICU with SDD must be treated to prevent pneumonia and 12 patients from the ICU should be treated to prevent one death. The data that show benefit of the SDD on mortality have an evidence grade 1 or recommendation grade A (supported by at least two level 1 investigations). The aim of this review is to explain the pathogeny of infections in critical patients, describe selective digestive decontamination, analyze the evidence available on it efficacy and the potential adverse effects and discuss the reasons published by the experts who advise against the use of SDD, even though it is recognized as the best intervention evaluated in intensive cares to reduce morbidity and mortality of the infections.

Palabras clave : selective digestive decontamination; infection; mortality.

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