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Good bacteria lower hospital-acquired infection risk for ICU patients

US researchers showed that daily administration of probiotic bacteria to critically ill patients may be protective against developing hospital-acquired pneumonia, which affects about 30% of patients using a machine for breathing.

Probiotics like lactic acid bacteria are live germs that may offer health benefits.

Scientists performed a controlled trial in 146 patients at high risk of developing hospital-acquired pneumonia. Patients received Lactobacillus (68) or placebo (70) twice daily through the gastrointestinal tract.

Results showed that patients who received probiotics were less likely to develop pneumonia or antibiotic-associated diarrhea and required fewer days of antibiotics than the placebo group. No untoward side effects were reported in either group.

Earlier studies supported that probiotics may decrease the development of pneumonia by 39%. Although the mechanism remains unknown, enhancement of the immune system has been suggested. More investigations are needed to identify how this protection happens and the best doses and strains of probiotics needed for each case.

Experts cautioned against universal use of probiotics to hospitalized patients. These organisms may cause secondary infections and should be used carefully. If probiotics prove their worth, they will not only prevent complications but also lower medical costs due to non-use of antibiotics.

This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment


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Three locations to serve you

Capital Surgeons Group is a group surgical practice specializing in bariatric surgery, breast surgery, colorectal surgery, laparoscopic surgery and robotic surgery at the following locations:


Central Austin

3705 Medical Parkway, Suite 250 and 210
Austin, TX 78705
Appointments: 512.302.1210
Office Hours: M-F, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm


North Austin/Round Rock

505 W. Louis Henna Blvd., Suite 220
Austin, TX 78728
Appointments: 512.498.4860
Office Hours: M-F, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm


South Austin

5625 Eiger Road, Suite 230
Austin, TX 78735
Appointments: 512.441.7755
Office Hours: M-F, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm