Establishing a baseline for a national paediatric antimicrobial stewardship programme

C.L. Gibbons, W. Malcolm*, J. Sneddon, C. Doherty, S. Cairns, A. Milne, M. Llano, J.S. Reilly*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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The majority of antimicrobial stewardship programmes focus on prescribing in adult populations; however, there is a recognized need for targeted paediatric antimicrobial stewardship to improve the quality and safety of prescribing amongst this patient group.

To describe the current epidemiology of antimicrobial prescribing in paediatric inpatient populations in Scotland to establish a baseline of evidence and identify priority areas for quality improvement to support a national paediatric antimicrobial stewardship programme.

A total of 559 paediatric inpatients were surveyed during the Scottish national point prevalence survey of healthcare-associated infections and antimicrobial prescribing, 2016. The prevalence of antimicrobial prescribing was calculated and characteristics of antimicrobial prescribing were described as proportions and compared between specialist hospitals and paediatric wards in acute hospitals.

Prevalence of antimicrobial use in paediatric inpatients was 35.4% (95% CI¿=¿31.6%–39.4%). Treatment of community- and hospital-acquired infections accounted for 47.1% and 20.7% of antimicrobial use, respectively, with clinical sepsis being the most common diagnosis and gentamicin the most frequently prescribed antimicrobial for the treatment of infection. The reason for prescribing was documented in the notes for 86.5% of all prescriptions and, of those assessed for compliance against local policy, 92.9% were considered compliant.

Data from national prevalence surveys are advantageous when developing antimicrobial stewardship programmes. Results have highlighted differences in the prescribing landscape between paediatric inpatient populations in specialist hospitals and acute hospitals, and have informed priorities for the national antimicrobial stewardship programme, which reinforces the need for a targeted paediatric antimicrobial stewardship programme.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3104-3110
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number10
Early online date12 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


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