Journal Article

Adjustment of antibiotic treatment according to the results of blood cultures leads to decreased antibiotic use and costs

Dag Berild, Atefeh Mohseni, Lien My Diep, Mogens Jensenius and Signe Holta Ringertz

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Published on behalf of British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Volume 57, issue 2, pages 326-330
Published in print February 2006 | ISSN: 0305-7453
Published online December 2005 | e-ISSN: 1460-2091 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jac/dki463
Adjustment of antibiotic treatment according to the results of blood cultures leads to decreased antibiotic use and costs

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Introduction: To avoid the use of unnecessary broad-spectrum antibiotics, empirical therapy of bacteraemia should be adjusted according to the results of blood cultures.

Objectives: To investigate whether the results of blood cultures led to changes in antibiotic use and costs in a tertiary-care university hospital in Norway.

Methods: Medical records from all patients with positive blood cultures in 2001 were analysed retrospectively. Factors predisposing to infections, results of blood cultures, antibiotic use and outcome were recorded. The influence of blood culture results on antibiotic treatment and costs were analysed.

Results: The antibiotic use in 226 episodes of bacteraemia in 214 patients was analysed. According to the guidelines empirical antibiotic treatment should be adjusted in 166 episodes. Antibiotic use was adjusted in 146 (88%) of these 166 episodes, which led to a narrowing of therapy in 118 (80%) episodes. Compared with empirical therapy there was a 22% reduction in the number of antibiotics. Adjustment of therapy was more often performed in Gram-negative bacteraemia and polymicrobial cultures than in Gram-positive bacteraemia. In bacteraemia caused by ampicillin-resistant Escherichia coli, ampicillin was mostly replaced by ciprofloxacin. The cost for 7 days adjusted therapy in 146 episodes was €19 800 (23%) less than for 7 days of empirical therapy.

Conclusions: Adjustment of antibiotic therapy according to the results of blood cultures led to a reduction in the number of antibiotics and a narrowing of antibiotic therapy. The costs for antibiotics decreased.

Keywords: bacteraemia; septicaemia; resistance; guidelines; therapy

Journal Article.  3097 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Oncology ; Critical Care

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