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Antibiotics are widely used in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of antibiotic use across US NICUs to evaluate overall, broad-spectrum, and combination antibiotic use. Patterns of antibiotic use varied by medical versus surgical service line, hospital, and geographic location.
To characterize the prevalence of and seasonal and regional variation in inpatient antibiotic use among hospitalized US children in 2017–2018.
We conducted a cross-sectional examination of hospitalized children. The assessments were conducted on a single day in spring (May 3, 2017), summer (August 2, 2017), fall (October 25, 2017), and winter (January 31, 2018). The main outcome of interest was receipt of an antibiotic on the study day.
The study included 51 freestanding US children’s hospitals that participate in the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS).
This study included all patients <18 years old who were admitted to a participating PHIS hospital, excluding patients who were admitted solely for research purposes.
Of 52,769 total hospitalized children, 19,174 (36.3%) received antibiotics on the study day and 6,575 of these (12.5%) received broad-spectrum antibiotics. The overall prevalence of antibiotic use varied across hospitals from 22.3% to 51.9%. Antibiotic use prevalence was 29.2% among medical patients and 47.7% among surgical patients. Although there was no significant seasonal variation in antibiotic use prevalence, regional prevalence varied, ranging from 32.7% in the Midwest to 40.2% in the West (P < .001). Among units, pediatric intensive care unit patients had the highest prevalence of both overall and broad-spectrum antibiotic use at 58.3% and 26.6%, respectively (P < .001).
On any given day in a national network of children’s hospitals, more than one-third of hospitalized children received an antibiotic, and 1 in 8 received a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Variation across hospitals, setting and regions identifies potential opportunities for enhanced antibiotic stewardship activities.
We observed pediatric S. aureus hospitalizations decreased 36% from 26.3 to 16.8 infections per 1,000 admissions from 2009 to 2016, with methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) decreasing by 52% and methicillin-susceptible S. aureus decreasing by 17%, among 39 pediatric hospitals. Similar decreases were observed for days of therapy of anti-MRSA antibiotics.
Understanding how the embryonic germ layers become competent to form their characteristic tissue types is a problem of fundamental importance to developmental biology. Knowledge of how the endodermal layer is first determined and then differentiates has only recently begun to accumulate. In sea urchins, several different signals have been implicated in endoderm formation, beginning as early as the fourth cleavage division and continuing until just prior to invagination of the endoderm. Recent experiments in sea urchin embryos have shown that the activity of glycogen synthase kinase 3-β and entry of β-catenin into the nucleus during cleavage stages is required for mesoderm and endoderm formation (Emily-Fenouil et al., 1998; Logan et al., 1999), implicating the Wnt signalling pathway in this process. Overexpression of β-catenin leads to an exaggeration of endoderm and mesoderm in the embryo at the expense of ectoderm (Wikramanayake et al., 1998). Since this signal is required for both mesoderm and endoderm, some other signal must be present to differentiate between these two germ layers. Micromeres formed by the fourth cleavage division have the ability to induce endoderm (Ransick & Davidson, 1995). This induction can occur independently of the entry of β-catenin into the nucleus of the cells induced to form endoderm (Logan et al., 1999), indicating micromere induction acts through a different signalling pathway. Final determination of endoderm also requires cell interactions through the late mesenchyme blastula stage, since cells from embryos dissociated prior to that stage fail to develop into endoderm autonomously (Chen & Wessel, 1996). A sea urchin member of the hedgehog family of signalling molecules has been reported to be expressed in the vegetal plate, indicating it also may play a role in endoderm formation.
Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are a mechanism to ensure the appropriate use of antimicrobials. The extent to which ASPs are formally implemented in freestanding children's hospitals is unknown. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and characteristics of ASPs in freestanding children's hospitals.
We conducted an electronic survey of 42 freestanding children's hospitals that are members of the Children's Hospital Association to determine the presence and characteristics of their ASPs. For hospitals without an ASP, we determined whether stewardship strategies were in place and whether there were barriers to implementing a formal ASP.
We received responses from 38 (91%) of 42. Among responding institutions, 16 (38%) had a formal ASP, and 15 (36%) were in the process of implementing a program. Most ASPs (13 [81%] of 16) were started after 2007. The median number of full-time equivalents dedicated to ASPs was 0.63 (range, 0.1–1.8). The most common antimicrobials monitored by ASPs were linezolid, vancomycin, and carbapenems. Many hospitals without a formal ASP were performing stewardship activities, including elements of prospective audit and feedback (9 [41%] of 22), formulary restriction (9 [41%] of 22), and use of clinical guidelines (17 [77%] of 22). Antimicrobial outcomes were more likely to be monitored by hospitals with ASPs (100% vs 68%; P = .01), although only 1 program provided support for a data analyst.
Most freestanding children's hospitals have implemented or are developing an ASP. These programs differ in structure and function, and more data are needed to identify program characteristics that have the greatest impact.
The goal of this effort was to reduce central venous catheter (CVC)-associated bloodstream infections (BSIs) in pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) patients by means of a multicenter evidence-based intervention.
An observational study was conducted in 26 freestanding children's hospitals with pediatric or cardiac ICUs that joined a Child Health Corporation of America collaborative. CVC-associated BSI protocols were implemented using a collaborative process that included catheter insertion and maintenance bundles, daily review of CVC necessity, and daily goals. The primary goal was either a 50% reduction in the CVC-associated BSI rate or a rate of 1.5 CVC-associated BSIs per 1,000 CVC-days in each ICU at the end of a 9-month improvement period. A 12-month sustain period followed the initial improvement period, with the primary goal of maintaining the improvements achieved.
The collaborative median CVC-associated BSI rate decreased from 6.3 CVC-associated BSIs per 1,000 CVC-days at the start of the collaborative to 4.3 CVC-associated BSIs per 1,000 CVC-days at the end of the collaborative. Sixty-five percent of all participants documented a decrease in their CVC-associated BSI rate. Sixty-nine CVC-associated BSIs were prevented across all teams, with an estimated cost avoidance of $2.9 million. Hospitals were able to sustain their improvements during a 12-month sustain period and prevent another 198 infections.
We conclude that our collaborative quality improvement project demonstrated that significant reduction in CVC-associated BSI rates and related costs can be realized by means of evidence-based prevention interventions, enhanced communication among caregivers, standardization of CVC insertion and maintenance processes, enhanced measurement, and empowerment of team members to enforce adherence to best practices.
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