How to optimize the evaluation and use of antibiotics in neonates
Early Human Development , Volume 90 - Issue SUPPL.1
Early and late-onset neonatal sepsis has specific pathogen distribution and infection rates in neonates with different gestational and postnatal ages. Despite the fact that early-onset sepsis is relatively rare (<1% of total deliveries), it is a major cause of mortality and morbidity. The known immunological immaturity of the neonate combined with non-specific clinical symptoms of infection has resulted in the frequent overuse of antibiotics in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In addition to this overuse there is a huge variability in the choice of antibacterial agents and dosing regimens used in NICUs across the world. Therefore, a more rational approach in the neonatal use of antibiotics is needed because of two major reasons: the emergence of multi-resistant bacteria in NICUs, and short- and long-term side effects of frequently used antibacterial agents in the neonatal population. This paper will focus on the optimal use of aminoglycosides (both used in early and late onset sepsis) and vancomycin (primarily used in late onset infections) in NICUs, and will underscore the need for specialists in neonatal medicine and pediatric pharmacology to work closely together to reach the most effective and safe way of using medicines in the NICU.