Anaesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine

Infection and Inflammation

We know that infections acquired during intensive care admission increase illness costs and may worsen patient outcomes.

close up of medics hand adjusting ventilation tubing


The incidence of these infections, especially ventilator associated pneumonia (VAP) and catheter related bloodstream infections (CRBI), is a key quality indicator in many healthcare systems. We have established high quality surveillance systems in our intensive care unit in order to study the factors that influence the risk of VAP and other infections.

Our completed work has demonstrated the importance of diagnostic methodology on reporting, and also shown that implementation of ventilator bundles (strategies to reduce the incidence of VAP) can decrease the incidence of infection and antibiotic use over time. We have developed novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of VAP, and identified abnormalities in neutrophil function that may predispose patients to acquiring infection in the ICU.

Ongoing work

In ongoing work with collaborators we are exploring the value of biomarkers for deciding when to administer antibiotics for suspected VAP, and possible therapies to restore impaired neutrophil function during critical illness. We are also undertaking studies of novel biomarkers that may be useful in the management of patients with suspected infections.