To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Antibiotics are widely used in very low-birth-weight infants (VLBW, <1500 g), and excess exposure, particularly to broad-spectrum antibiotics, is associated with significant morbidity. An antibiotic spectrum index (ASI) quantifies antibiotic exposure by relative antimicrobial activity, adding information to exposure measured by days of therapy (DOT). We compared ASI and DOT across multiple centers to evaluate differences in antibiotic exposures.
We extracted data from patients admitted to 3 level-4 NICUs for 2 years at 2 sites and for 1 year at a third site. We calculated the ASI per antibiotic days and DOT per patient days for all admitted VLBW infants <32 weeks gestational age. Clinical variables were compared as percentages or as days per 1,000 patient days. We used Kruskal-Wallis tests to compare continuous variables across the 3 sites.
Demographics were similar for the 734 VLBW infants included. The site with the highest DOT per patient days had the lowest ASI per antibiotic days and the site with the highest mortality and infection rates had the highest ASI per antibiotic days. Antibiotic utilization varied by center, particularly for choice of broad-spectrum coverage, although the organisms causing infection were similar.
An antibiotic spectrum index identified differences in prescribing practice patterns among 3 NICUs unique from those identified by standard antibiotic use metrics. Site differences in infection rates and unit practices or guidelines for prescribing antibiotics were reflected in the ASI. This comparison uncovered opportunities to improve antibiotic stewardship and demonstrates the utility of this metric for comparing antibiotic exposures among NICU populations.