Prolonged Perioperative Antibiotics: A Hidden Problem.

Journal: Hospital Pediatrics

Objectives: National guidelines generally recommend 24 hours or less of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis. In a freestanding, regional children's hospital, we evaluated the duration of antibiotic surgical prophylaxis to identify targets for standardization of practice.

Methods: All procedures performed in 2017 were extracted from our local data warehouse; those involving an incision were considered a surgical procedure and correlated to antibiotic data. Antibiotic courses were reviewed if administered for >24 hours, or if the duration or indication for prophylaxis was uncertain. Total duration of prophylaxis (including discharge prescriptions) was calculated in hours for all procedures and categorized by department and by the quantity of prophylaxis received: none, single dose, multiple doses within 24 hours, and >24 hours. Percentage of procedures and total days of potential excess were calculated.

Results: A total of 15 651 procedures were included; 5009 met criteria for chart review, and after further exclusions, 12 895 procedures were included in the analysis. In total, 55% of all 12 895 procedures received prophylaxis. A single dose was given in 30%. Over 24 hours was administered in 11%, and 14% received multiple doses <24 hours (both potential excess). Results were evaluated by surgical subspecialty and procedure type. There were 5733 cumulative days of surgical prophylaxis administered after 24 hours (potential excess).

Conclusion: In 2017, up to 25% of procedures received potentially unnecessary perioperative prophylaxis, indicating that national guidance specific to pediatrics would have high impact on antibiotic overuse in the pediatric surgical population.

Annamaria Salas, Manon Williams, Elise Van Etten, Lauren Lewis, Christine Macbrayne, Sarah Parker

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