Key messages

• The intensive care unit is a high-risk area for nosocomial infections because of both severe underlying patient disease and exposure to multiple invasive procedures and manipulations.

• Surveillance, consisting of collecting, tabulating, analyzing, and disseminating information on the occurrence of nosocomial infection, is an essential component of the prevention and control of infection.

• Surveillance of nosocomial infection may help to define and detect common or unusual sources of cross-infection or failures in management of patient care.

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