Hospitals are using better antibiotics for childhood pneumonia, study finds

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New research out of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., suggests hospitals treating children with community-acquired pneumonia are doing a better job of using antibiotics that are less commonly associated with antibiotic resistance.

The study was part of a larger Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study called the Etiology of Pneumonia in the Community, or EPIC, which examined CAP hospitalizations among children in the U.S. and sought to address critical gaps in the knowledge about pneumonia.

As part of the study, the researchers analyzed the impact of new national guidelines that called for prescribing penicillin or ampicillin (known as narrow-spectrum antibiotics) to treat most children hospitalized with pneumonia instead of more commonly used third-generation cephalosporins (a broader-spectrum class of antibiotics). All total, more than 2,000 children were included in the study.

"The objective evaluation of the impact of new guidelines or policies is necessary to assess whether the desired objectives are achieved and to inform potential adjustments for those initiatives," said Carlos G. Grijalva, MD, senior author of the study and associate professor in the Vanderbilt Department of Health Policy.

Results of the study showed that after the release of the guidelines, hospitals prescribed third-generation cephalosporins about 44.8 percent of the time, down from pre-guidelines trends of 57.3 percent. Also after the release of the guidelines, the use of narrow-spectrum antibiotics increased from 3.9 percent to 15.2 percent.

The results of the study were published in the journal Pediatrics.



More articles on antibiotics and drug resistance:
Professional, psychosocial factors influence physician antibiotic prescribing habits: 5 study findings
Johns Hopkins infection expert tapped by White House to participate in antibiotic stewardship initiative
Common antibiotic can kill MDROs, study finds

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