Shorter mechanical ventilation duration linked to timely antibiotic prescription in pediatric ICU

A study published in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine examined the effect of prescribing antibiotics at the onset of mechanical ventilation on clinical outcomes.

Researchers conducted a retrospective cohort study at 56 children's hospitals in the U.S. They examined children younger than 2 years old discharged between 2012 and 2016 with a diagnosis of respiratory syncytial virus-associated lower respiratory tract infection who received mechanical ventilation. The patients did not have other identified comorbid conditions.

The patients were divided into two groups — one received antibiotics on both of the first two days of mechanical ventilation and the other did not. In all, 2,107 children in the pediatric intensive care unit were included in the study.

Researchers found that antibiotic prescription was associated with a shorter duration of mechanical ventilation; six days for the antibiotic group versus eight days for the other group.

Additionally, the antibiotic group experienced an 11-day hospital length of stay as compared to 13 days among the children who did not receive the antibiotics on both of the first two days of mechanical ventilation.

After adjusting for various factors, including demographics, antibiotic prescription was associated with a 1.21-day shorter duration of mechanical ventilation and a 2.07-day shorter length of stay.

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