IDWeek study shows antibiotic stewardship tied to shorter hospital stay
Findings presented at a major infectious disease conference in Philadelphia today suggest that hospital antibiotic stewardship programs can pay unexpected benefits in children.
Researchers at Children's Mercy Hospital–Kansas City (Mo.) found that an antibiotic stewardship program helped children leave the hospital sooner and lowered their chance of being readmitted within 30 days, according to a press release from IDWeek, the annual meeting of four organizations: the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), the HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS).
Over 5 years, the hospital's antibiotic stewardship program recommended that the antibiotic be discontinued or the dose or type be changed for 17% of 7,051 children, according to the release. Each child's doctor could accept or reject the recommendation.
The length of stay averaged 68 hours, and there were no 30-day readmissions among children whose doctor followed the recommendation, while the length of stay averaged 82 hours and 3.5% were readmitted within 30 days among those whose doctor did not follow the recommendation, the release said. The most common recommendation was to stop the antibiotic because it was deemed unnecessary.
Jason Newland, MD, lead author of the study, said it is the first to indicate that antibiotic stewardship programs reduce hospitalization time and readmission in children.
Study finds MRSA colonization common in athletes
Another IDWeek study showed that college athletes in contact sports are more likely to carry methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) than non-athletes.
Researchers at Vanderbilt University followed 377 varsity athletes over 2 years, including 224 who played contact sports and 153 in non-contact. They found that colonization with MRSA ranged from 8% to 31% in the contact-sports athletes and 0 to 23% in the non-contact athletes. That compares with 5% to 10% colonization in the general population.
The researchers also found that the contact athletes acquired MRSA sooner and were colonized longer, the release said.
Natalia Jimenez-Truque, PhD, MSCI, a research instructor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the study shows that even when athletes are healthy, a substantial number of them are colonized with MRSA.
"Sports teams can decrease the spread of MRSA by encouraging good hygiene in their athletes, including frequent hand washing and avoiding sharing towels and personal items such as soap and razors," she said.