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Antibiotic Stewardship in Premature Infants: A Systematic Review

Authors
  • Rajar, Polona
  • Saugstad, Ola D.
  • Berild, Dag
  • Dutta, Anirban
  • Greisen, Gorm
  • Lausten-Thomsen, Ulrik
  • Mande, Sharmila S.
  • Nangia, Sushma
  • Petersen, Fernanda C.
  • Dahle, Ulf R.
  • Haaland, Kirsti
Type
Published Article
Journal
Neonatology
Publisher
S. Karger AG
Publication Date
Dec 03, 2020
Volume
117
Issue
6
Pages
673–686
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1159/000511710
PMID: 33271554
Source
Karger
Keywords
License
Green
External links

Abstract

Introduction: Antibiotic treatment in premature infants is often empirically prescribed, and practice varies widely among otherwise comparable neonatal intensive care units. Unnecessary and prolonged antibiotic treatment is documented in numerous studies. Recent research shows serious side effects and suggests long-term adverse health effects in prematurely born infants exposed to antibiotics in early life. One preventive measure to reduce unnecessary antibiotic exposure is implementation of antibiotic stewardship programs. Our objective was to review the literature on implemented antibiotic stewardship programs including premature infants with gestational age ≤34 weeks. Methods: Six academic databases (PubMed [Medline], McMaster PLUS, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, UpToDate, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) were systematically searched. PRISMA guidelines were applied. Results: The search retrieved 1,212 titles of which 12 fitted inclusion criteria (11 observational studies and 1 randomized clinical trial). Included articles were critically appraised. We grouped the articles according to common area of implemented stewardship actions: (1) focus on reducing initiation of antibiotic therapy, (2) focus on shortening duration of antibiotic therapy, (3) various organizational stewardship implementations. The heterogeneity of cohort composition, of implemented actions and of outcome measures made meta-analysis inappropriate. We provide an overview of the reduction in antibiotic use achieved. Conclusion: Antibiotic stewardship programs can be effective for premature newborns especially when multifactorial and tailored to this population, focusing on reducing initiation or on shortening the duration of antibiotic therapy. Programs without specific measures were less effective.

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