No studies were carried out in Palestine to investigate the prescribed antimicrobial agents in hospitalized pediatric patients. The objective of this study was to evaluate and therapeutically analyze the pattern of parenteral antimicrobial prescriptions among pediatric patients in Al-Watani Government Hospital in Palestine. Such audit will be of great value to clinicians and health policy makers.
Material and Methods: Data on antimicrobial prescribing were collected for 30 consecutive days for all pediatric patients admitted to Al-Watani government hospital. Data on antimicrobial prescribing were entered and analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) program. Analysis was done for age, sex, diagnosis, site of infection, number of antimicrobial agents given, how many times the drug regimen has been changed and the frequency of individual drug use.
Results: Three hundred and forty pediatric patients were admitted to Al-Watani government hospital during the study period. Gastroenteritis was the most common cause of hospitalization, while upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) was the most common cause of parenteral antimicrobial agent administration. Two hundred and ten (61.8%) patients received parenteral antimicrobial agents while 16 (4.7%) received both parenteral and oral antimicrobial agents. Single antimicrobial agent was prescribed for (50.6%) patients. Cefuroxime was the main single antimicrobial agent used; it was administered to 70/226 (31%) patients.
Conclusion: Treatment patterns used for most patients were nearly according to current empiric therapeutic recommendations. However, improving the availability of rapid diagnostic methods to differentiate between viral and bacterial infections is suggested to reduce empiric therapy numbers by antimicrobial agents so as to decrease chance for drug resistance.