School of Nursing
L. Kathleen Sekula
Probiotics, Trauma, Healthcare Associated Infection
The gut microbiome consists of normally non-pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These friendly microbes serve to maintain GI barrier function and integrity, play a role in host nutrient and drug metabolism, immunomodulation, and prevent pathogenic bacteria from colonizing or causing disease. The importance of a healthy microbiome for the overall health of the host is just recently being appreciated within the medical and science communities. Disruption of the microbiome places one at greater risk for illness and infection. Patients who suffer a traumatic injury are among those at highest risk for complications associated with microbial imbalance, or dysbiosis. In addition to the mechanisms of traumatic injury that can impair one’s immune function, these patients are subjected to a variety of treatments and therapies that account for a tendency toward dysbiosis which can lead to healthcare-acquired infections. These include treatment with antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, and opioids as well as therapies that require invasive procedures and monitoring. One suggested means to restore immune function and for the prevention of HAIs is to supplement patients with probiotics to restore or replenish host microbiota. However, despite promising findings regarding the efficacy of probiotics for prevention and amelioration of certain HAIs, supplementation with probiotics is not without risks.
Vitko, H. (2018). Probiotic Use in Trauma Patients: A Pathway to Determining the Standard of Care to Improve Outcomes (Doctoral dissertation, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/1733
Vitko HA, Sekula LK, Schreiber MA. Probiotics for trauma patients: Should we be taking a precautionary approach? J Trauma Nurs 2017;24:46-52.
Vitko HA, Troxell JJ. Probiotics in the critical care unit: fad, fact, or fiction? J Emerg Crit Care Med 2018.