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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2008 Feb;27(2):106-11. doi: 10.1097/INF.0b013e318158603a.

Evaluation of an antimicrobial stewardship program at a pediatric teaching hospital.

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Department of Pharmacy Services, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.



Thirty to 50% of hospitalized patients receive antimicrobial therapy. Previous data suggest that inappropriate use results in higher mortality rates, longer lengths of stay, and increased medical costs. Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs) reduce the improper use of antimicrobials and improve patient safety. Despite increased awareness about the benefits of these programs, few pediatric ASPs exist and fewer comprehensive studies evaluate their effects.


A prospective observational study was conducted to describe the use and impact of a pediatric ASP. Data were collected on the clinician's request for targeted antibiotics and the interventions made by the ASP. Retrospective chart review was performed to assess outcomes and compliance on empiric antimicrobial therapy decisions and recommendations to discontinue antimicrobial therapy.


During the 4-month study period, calls were placed to the ASP for 652 patients. Forty-five percent of those calls required an intervention by the ASP. These interventions included: (1) Targeting the known or suspected pathogens (20%); (2) Consultation (43%); (3) Optimize antimicrobial treatment (33%); and (4) Stop antimicrobial treatment (4%). Three of the 84 (3.5%) patients recommended to receive alternative therapy developed an infection not covered by the ASP recommendations or the antimicrobial initially requested by the clinician.


Our data demonstrate that an ASP improves the appropriate use of antimicrobial medications in hospitalized children. In addition, the ASP plays an integral role in providing guidance to clinicians and ensures that the appropriate antimicrobial agents are used.

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