Paediatric antimicrobial use at a South African hospital
CITATION: Koopmans, L. R., et al. 2018. Paediatric antimicrobial use at a South African hospital. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 74:16–23, doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2018.05.020.
The original publication is available at https://www.ijidonline.com
Publication of this article was funded by the Stellenbosch University Open Access Fund.
Background: Data on antimicrobial use among hospitalized children in Africa are very limited due to the absence of electronic prescription tracking. Methods: This study evaluated antimicrobial consumption rates, the antimicrobial spectrum used, and the indications for therapy on a paediatric ward and in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) at Tygerberg Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa. Antimicrobial prescription and patient demographic data were collected prospectively from May 10, 2015 to November 11, 2015. For the same period, data on antimicrobials dispensed and costs were extracted from the pharmacy electronic medicine management system. The volume of antimicrobials dispensed (dispensing data) was compared with observed antimicrobial use (prescription data). Results: Of the 703 patients admitted, 415/451 (92%) paediatric ward admissions and 233/252 (92%) PICU admissions received ≥1 antimicrobials. On the ward, 89% of prescriptions were for community-acquired infections; 29% of PICU antimicrobials were prescribed for healthcare-associated infections. Ampicillin and third-generation cephalosporins were the most commonly prescribed agents. Antimicrobial costs were 67 541 South African Rand (ZAR) (5680 United States Dollars (USD)) on the ward and 210 484 ZAR (17 702 USD) in the PICU. Ertapenem and meropenem were the single largest contributors to antimicrobial costs on the ward (43%) and PICU (30%), respectively. The volume of antimicrobials dispensed by the pharmacy (dispensing data) differed considerably from observed antimicrobial use (prescription data). Conclusions: High rates of antimicrobial consumption were documented. Community-acquired infections were the main indication for prescription. Although pharmacy dispensing data did not closely approximate observed use, this represents a promising method for antimicrobial usage tracking in the future.