Antimicrobial stewardship to optimize antimicrobial use for outpatients at emergency department

Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) have proven to be effective in optimizing antibiotic use for inpatients. However, Emergency Department (ED)’s fast-paced clinical setting can be challenging for a successful ASP | The Journal of Hospital Infection

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Aim: In April 2015, an ASP was implemented in our ED and we aimed to determine its impact on antimicrobial use for outpatients.

Methods: Monocentric study comparing the quality of antibiotic prescriptions between a one-year period before ASP implementation (November 2012 to October 2013) and a one-year period after its implementation (June 2015 to May 2016).

For each period, antimicrobial prescriptions for all adult outpatients (hospitalized for <24hours) were evaluated by an infectious disease specialist (IDS) and an ED physician to assess compliance with local prescribing guidelines. Inappropriate prescriptions were then classified.

Findings: Before and after ASP, 34,671 and 35,925 consultations were registered at our ED, of which 25,470 and 26,208 were outpatients. Antimicrobials were prescribed in 769 (3.0%) and 580 (2.2%) consultations, respectively (p<0.0001). There were 484 (62.9%) and 271 (46.7%) (p<0.0001) instances of non-compliance with guidelines before and after ASP implementation. Non-compliances included unnecessary antimicrobial prescriptions, 197 (25.6%) vs. 101 (17.4%) (p<0.0005); inappropriate spectrum, 108 (14.0%) vs. 54 (9.3%) (p=0.008); excessive treatment duration, 87 (11.3%) vs. 53 (9.1%) (p>0.05); and inappropriate choices, 11 (1.4%) vs. 15 (2.6%) (p>0.05).

Conclusions: The implementation of an ASP dramatically decreased the number of unnecessary antimicrobial prescriptions, but had little impact on most other aspects of inappropriate prescribing.

Full reference: Dinh, A. et al. (2017) Impact of an antimicrobial stewardship program to optimize antimicrobial use for outpatients at emergency department. The Journal of Hospital Infection. Published online: 8th July 2017

Antibiotics-First Vs Surgery for Appendicitis

Talan, D.A. et al. Annals of Emergency Medicine. Published online: December 11 2016


Study objective: Randomized trials suggest that nonoperative treatment of uncomplicated appendicitis with antibiotics-first is safe. No trial has evaluated outpatient treatment and no US randomized trial has been conducted, to our knowledge. This pilot study assessed feasibility of a multicenter US study comparing antibiotics-first, including outpatient management, with appendectomy.

Conclusion: A multicenter US trial comparing antibiotics-first to appendectomy, including outpatient management, is feasible to evaluate efficacy and safety.

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The effect of timing of antibiotic delivery on infection rates related to open limb fractures: a systematic review

Whitehouse, M.R. et al. Emergency Medicine Journal. Published Online: 15 September 2016


Objective: To examine whether the timing of delivery of intravenous antibiotics following open limb fractures has an effect on deep infection rates and other outcomes.

Design: We published an a priori study protocol in PROSPERO. Our search strategy combined terms for antibiotics, timing of administration and fractures. Two independent reviewers screened, selected, assessed quality and extracted data from identified studies.

Data sources: We searched five electronic databases with no limits and performed grey literature searches.

Eligibility criteria for selecting studies: Randomised and non-randomised controlled studies, prospective and retrospective observational studies in which the effect of the timing of delivery of antibiotics on the outcome of deep infection in open fractures was considered were included.

Results: Eight studies were included according to the above criteria. There were no randomised or non-randomised controlled trials. None of the included studies provided data on patient reported or health-related quality of life. The overall deep infection rate ranged from 5% to 17.5%. All of the studies were at substantial risk of bias. One study reported a reduced infection rate with the delivery of antibiotics within 66 min of injury and seven studies reporting no effect.

Conclusions: Sufficiently robust evidence is not available currently to determine whether the timing of delivery of intravenous antibiotics has an effect on the risk of deep infection or other outcomes following open limb fractures. There is therefore a need for a randomised controlled trial in this area before policy changes should be instigated.

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A Comprehensive Review of Common Respiratory Infections Encountered in Urgent and Primary Care

Beam, C. et al. Journal of Emergency Nursing. Published online: 21 July 2016

Concern about antibiotic overuse has become heightened as bacterial resistance to antibiotics continues to increase. Patients experiencing respiratory symptoms frequently present to urgent/emergent care settings such as fast-track emergency care departments and primary care retail settings with the expectation that they will be prescribed antibiotics.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that approximately 2 million people will become ill with bacteria that are resistant to at least one antibiotic, approximately 23,000 people die as a direct result of these infections, and many others die as a result of complications related to antibiotic-resistant infections.
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Improved Administration of Antibiotics in the Emergency Department: A Practice Improvement Project

McLaughlin, J.M. et al. Journal of Emergency Nursing.July 2016. 42(4). pp. 312–316

hospital-834150_960_720Problem: Although consensus exists among experts that early intravenous antibiotic therapy has an impact on patient mortality, the medical literature includes little information about ensuring that the patient receives the complete dose. At our emergency department, it had become standard clinical practice to administer antibiotics with primary pump tubing and an infusion pump. Clinical pharmacy staff identified this practice as a cause for concern, because at least 20 mL (up to 40%) of the dose volume remains in the tubing. This practice improvement project was aimed at improving the administration of antibiotics by programming a secondary infusion to ensure the complete dose would be administered.

Methods: A multidisciplinary educational intervention was initiated consisting of one-on-one instruction with each emergency nurse (n = 103) at the department’s annual Skills Sessions, distribution of educational tip sheets, and reinforcement of the proper procedure at the patient’s bedside. Emergency nurses were educated via simulation regarding correct secondary pump programming, using smart pump technology.

Results: Surveys indicated that 8% of emergency nurses used secondary tubing along with a smart pump to administer antibiotics before the intervention, compared with 96% after the intervention (P < .0001).

Implications for Practice: This project demonstrates that our educational intervention improved awareness of the need to administer the entire antibiotic dose and adherence to the use of secondary tubing along with smart pump technology to administer antibiotics.

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