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J Pediatr Pharmacol Ther. 2015 Jan-Feb;20(1):37-44. doi: 10.5863/1551-6776-20.1.37.

Time to first antimicrobial administration after onset of sepsis in critically ill children.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacy Practice, University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Buffalo, New York.
2
Department of Pharmacy Practice, Loma Linda University School of Pharmacy, Loma Linda, California.
3
Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, Baltimore, Maryland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Delay of antimicrobial administration in adult patients with severe sepsis and septic shock has been associated with a decrease in survival to hospital discharge. The primary objective of this investigation was to determine the time to first antimicrobial administration after the onset of sepsis in critically ill children. Secondary objectives included appropriateness of empiric antimicrobials and microbiological testing, fluid resuscitation during the first 24 hours after onset of sepsis, intensive care unit and hospital length of stay, and mortality.

METHODS:

Retrospective, chart review of all subjects less than or equal to 18 years of age admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) with a diagnosis of sepsis between January 1, 2011, and December 31, 2012.

RESULTS:

A total of 72 subjects met the inclusion criteria during the study period. Median time to first antimicrobial administration by a nurse after the onset of sepsis was 2.7 (0.5-5.1) hours. Cultures were drawn prior to administration of antimicrobials in 91.7% of subjects and were repeated within 48 hours in 72.2% of subjects. Empiric antimicrobial regimens were appropriate in 91.7% of cases. The most common empiric antimicrobial regimens included piperacillin/tazobactam plus vancomycin in 19 subjects (26.4%) and ceftriaxone plus vancomycin in 15 subjects (20.8%). Median PICU length of stay was 129 (64.6-370.9) hours, approximately 5 days, and median hospital length of stay was 289 (162.5-597.1) hours, approximately 12 days. There were 4 deaths during the study period.

CONCLUSIONS:

Time to first antimicrobial administration after onset of sepsis was not optimal and exceeded the recommendations set forth in international guidelines. At our institution, the process for treating pediatric patients with severe sepsis and septic shock should be modified to increase compliance with national guidelines.

KEYWORDS:

anti-infective agents; pediatrics; sepsis; septic shock

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