Immunocompromise

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Introduction

Despite the advent of antibiotics, Infection still remains a major cause of death either in isolation or as the terminal complication of underlying chronic illness.  There are a number of overlooked factors that reduce a patient’s immunity and increase their susceptibility to serious infection and sepsis.  These should be reviewed in any patient with suspected infection.

High risk groups – Chemotherapy patients, Organ Transplant patients, Neonates, AIDS

High risk patients may not manifest classical features of infection i.e. fever, elevated WCC/CRP and a high degree of suspicion for sepsis should be entertained (and aggressive investigation and early treatment) if there are focal signs of infection

 Anatomical considerations

  • Presence of any foreign body in the human body e.g catheters, cannula, tubes, stents, prosthesis, implants
  • Impaired anatomical barriers e.g. inflamed or traumatised skin, inability to cough, urinary incontinence

Immunological considerations

 

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