Skip to Content

Acinetobacter Baumannii Infection


An Acinetobacter baumannii infection is caused by the Acinetobacter baumannii bacteria (germ). Acinetobacter baumannii can cause serious infections in the lungs, blood, and brain. It may also cause urinary tract and wound infections. This germ may be found on skin or in food, water, or soil. It may also be found in hospitals. Acinetobacter baumannii is highly contagious.


Informed consent

is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.


You may need to be placed in isolation. Healthcare providers and visitors will wear gowns and gloves when in your room. They may also wear face masks. Visitors should wash their hands before they leave your room to help prevent spreading germs to others.

Vital signs:

Healthcare providers will check your blood pressure, heart rate, breathing rate, and temperature. They will also ask about your pain. Vital signs give information about your current health.


is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.


Your healthcare provider may give you the following kinds of medicines:

  • Antibiotic medicine: Antibiotic (germ-killing) medicine may be given to help treat your infection. You may be given one or more kinds of medicines.
  • Antipyretics: This medicine is given to decrease a fever.
  • Pain medicine: Healthcare providers may give you medicine to take away or decrease your pain.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe to ask for your medicine. Tell healthcare providers if your pain does not decrease. The medicine may not work as well at controlling your pain if you wait too long to take it.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling for help when you want to get out of bed.


  • Cultures: Cultures are done by taking samples from your skin, wound discharge, or mucus from the nose or throat. Your blood, urine, or sputum (spit) may also be tested. Cultures can show if your infection has spread to other areas of your body.
  • Blood and urine tests: Samples of your blood or urine are collected and sent to a lab for tests.
  • Chest x-ray: This is a picture of your lungs and heart. Healthcare providers use it to see how your lungs and heart are doing. Healthcare providers may use the x-ray to look for signs of infection like pneumonia, or to look for collapsed lungs. Chest x-rays may show tumors, broken ribs, or fluid around the heart and lungs.
  • Lumbar puncture: This procedure may also be called a spinal tap. During a lumbar puncture, you will need to lie very still. Healthcare providers may give you medicine to make you lose feeling in a small area of your back. Your healthcare provider will clean this area of your back. A needle will be put in, and fluid removed from around your spinal cord. The fluid will be sent to a lab for tests. The tests check for infection, bleeding around your brain and spinal cord, or other problems. Sometimes medicine may be put into your back to treat your illness.


  • Wound care: If you have a wound, healthcare providers will clean, bandage, or put medicine on it.
  • Breathing treatments: You may need breathing treatments to help open your airways so you can breathe easier. A machine is used to change liquid medicine into a mist. You will breathe the mist into your lungs through tubing and a mouthpiece. Inhaled mist medicines act quickly on your airways and lungs to relieve your symptoms.
  • A ventilator is a machine that gives you oxygen and breathes for you when you cannot breathe well on your own. An endotracheal (ET) tube is put into your mouth or nose and attached to the ventilator. You may need a trach if an ET tube cannot be placed. A trach is a tube put through an incision and into your windpipe.
  • Surgery: If you have a wound, you may need surgery to remove dead tissue from it. Ask your healthcare provider for more information if you need this or other surgery to treat your Acinetobacter baumannii infection.


Medicines used to treat Acinetobacter baumannii may cause nausea, vomiting, or skin rashes. You may need stronger or more than one medicine to treat your infection. These medicines could damage your kidneys or nerves. You may need surgery to remove dead tissue or to treat problems caused by your infection. If the infection is not treated, it may damage your skin, lungs, brain, or kidneys. It can cause your organs to stop working and be life-threatening.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2018 Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or IBM Watson Health

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Acinetobacter Baumannii Infection (Inpatient Care)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes