Critically ill patients, who develop ventilator-associated pneumonia during prolonged mechanical ventilation, often require antimicrobial agents administered through the endotracheal or the tracheotomy tube. The delivery of antibiotics via the respiratory tract has been established over the past years as an alternative route in order to deliver high concentrations of antimicrobial agents directly to the lungs and avoid systemic toxicity. Since the only formal indications for inhaled/aerosolized antimicrobial agents is for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis, consequently the majority of research and published studies concerns this group of patients. Newer devices and new antibiotic formulations are currently off-label used in ambulatory cystic fibrosis patients whereas similar data for the mechanically ventilated patients do not yet exist.
Keywords: Antibiotics, delivery system, inhalation, nebulization, ventilation
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