BACKGROUND: Point prevalence surveys have been used in several studies to provide immediate and easily comparable information about antibiotic use and showed that about one third of hospitalised children had on ongoing antimicrobial prescription during their hospital admission. The aim of this study, as part of the Global Antimicrobial Resistance, Prescribing and Efficacy in Neonates and Children project, is to describe antimicrobial prescriptions among hospitalised children in four tertiary care hospitals in Italy to show if something has changed over the years.
METHODS: Four tertiary care Italian's hospitals joined three Point Prevalence Surveys (PPSs) in three different period of the year. All children under 18 years of age with an ongoing antimicrobial prescription, admitted on the participating wards at 8 o'clock in the morning of the selecting day were enrolled.
RESULTS: A total of 1412 patients (475 neonates and 937 children) were admitted in the days of three PPSs. Overall, among the total admitted patients, 565 patients (40%) had an ongoing antimicrobial prescription in the days of the survey A total of 718 antibiotics were administered in the 485 admitted children and 133 in neonates. The most common indications for antibiotic therapy in children was Lower respiratory tract infections (244/718, 34%), while in neonates were prophylaxis for medical problems (35/133, 26.3%), newborn prophylaxis for newborn risk factors (29/133, 21.8%) and prophylaxis for surgical disease (15/133, 11.3%).
CONCLUSIONS: Based on our results, it appears that nothing has changed since the last PPS and that the quality improved targets, underlyined in previous studies, are always the same. Serial PPSs can be part of AMS strategies but they are not sufficient alone to produce changes in clinical practice.