Vancomycin-sensitive and vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infections in the ICU: Attributable costs and outcomes

Robert K. Pelz, Pamela A. Lipsett, Sandra M. Swoboda, Marie Diener-West, Neil R. Powe, Roy G. Brower, Trish M. Perl, Janet M. Hammond, Craig W. Hendrix

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


Objectives: To determine the economic and clinical outcomes associated with infection with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) and to compare these outcomes to those associated with infection with vancomycin-sensitive Enterococcus (VSE). Methods: During a 3-month, prospective, cohort study of 117 high-risk, critically ill patients we collected complete clinical and demographic and ICU cost data from all patients during their ICU stays. Results: After adjusting for variables in a stepwise multiple regression model VRE infections were associated with a median attributable increased ICU cost per patient of $33,251 (38,088 euros) and an increased length of hospital stay (LOS) of 22 days, while VSE infections were associated with an increased cost of $21,914 (25,102 euros) and an increased LOS of 27 days. The effect of VRE and VSE infections were not significantly different. Over the entire cohort the attributable cost per ICU patient day associated with VRE infection was $304 (348 euros). Conclusions: The attributable cost of ICU care associated with VRE infection is $33,251 (38,088 euros) and per ICU patient day was $304 (348 euros). VRE and VSE infections do not differ in associated cost of ICU care, LOS, or mortality. Any VRE control strategy is be cost-effective if the overall cost per ICU patient-day is less than $304 (348 euros).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-697
Number of pages6
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2002


  • Cost
  • Enterococcus species
  • Epidemiology
  • Outcome
  • Vancomycin
  • Vancomycin resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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