Send to

Choose Destination
Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2013 Jul;14(6):e280-8. doi: 10.1097/PCC.0b013e31828a846d.

Point prevalence survey of antimicrobial utilization in the cardiac and pediatric critical care unit.

Author information

Department of Pharmacy, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



To determine the rate of documented infections and prevalence of antimicrobial use among pediatric patients admitted to the PICU. To assess the appropriateness of antimicrobial prescribing according to clinical and microbiological findings, Infectious Disease Consult recommendations, and formulary guidelines.


Prospective point prevalence study.


Cardiac and medical-surgical critical care units (CCCU-PICU) in a tertiary care pediatric teaching hospital in Toronto, Canada.


All patients admitted to the CCCU-PICU during the week of October 27, 2008 (period A) and February 9, 2009 (period B) were followed until completion of their antimicrobial course(s). Data were collected on infection types and indications, frequency, and types of antimicrobials used. Appropriateness of antimicrobial prescribing was assessed according to predefined criteria by four blinded clinician assessors.


Forty-two of 60 patients (70%) received antimicrobials in period A and 42 of 53 patients (79%) received antimicrobials in period B. Of the patients on antimicrobials, 45% in period A and 52% in period B had a definitive diagnosis of infection. Pneumonia and sepsis were the most common infections in period A, whereas pneumonia and other respiratory tract infections were the most common in period B. Antimicrobials were commonly prescribed for documented infection (38%) during period A and empiric therapy (47%) during period B. Cefazolin, cefuroxime, vancomycin, and gentamicin were the commonly used antimicrobials during both periods. Inappropriate antimicrobial use ranged from 16.7% to 61.9%, depending on assessors and surveillance period. The most common reasons for inappropriate use were overly broad spectrum, wrong dosage, and unwarranted overlap of spectrum.


There was a high prevalence of antimicrobial use in CCCU-PICU patients. Because a significant proportion of antimicrobial use was deemed inappropriate, interventions are required to optimize antimicrobial use in critically ill children.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center