The aim of this study was to determine the types nosocomial infections (NIs) and the risk factors for NIs in the central intensive care unit (ICU) of Trakya University Hospital. The patients admitted to the ICU were observed prospectively by the unit-directed active surveillance method based on patient and the laboratory over a 9-month-period. The samples of urine, blood, sputum or tracheal aspirate were taken from the patients on the first and the third days of their hospitalization in ICU; the patients were cultured routinely. Other samples were taken and cultured if there was suspicion of an infection. Infections were considered as ICU-associated if they developed after 48 hours of hospitalization in the unit and 5 days after discharge from the unit if the patients had been sent to a different ward in the hospital. The rate of NIs in 135 patients assigned was found to be 68%. The most common infection sites were lower respiratory tract, urinary tract, bloodstream, catheter site and surgical wound. Hospitalization in ICU for more than 6 days and colonization was found to be the main risk factor for NIs. Prolonged mechanical ventilation and tracheostomy, as well as frequently changed nasogastric catheterization, were found to be risk factors for lower respiratory tract infections. For bloodstream infections, both prolonged insertion of and frequent change of arterial catheters, and for urinary tract infections, female gender, period and repeating of urinary catheterization were risk factors. A high prevalence rate of nosocomial infections was found in this study. Invasive device use and duration of use continue to greatly influence the development of nosocomial infection in ICU. Important factors to prevent nosocomial infections are to avoid long hospitalization and unnecessary device application. Control and prevention strategies based on continuing education of healthcare workers will decrease the nosocomial infections in the intensive care unit.