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Updated in 9/8/2018 1:22:42 PM      Viewed: 182 times      (Journal Article)
Pediatrics 106 (1): E4 (2000)

Use of C-reactive protein in minimizing antibiotic exposure: experience with infants initially admitted to a well-baby nursery.

A G Philip , P C Mills
To evaluate the use of a clinical pathway for neonatal sepsis in decisions about initiating and continuing antibiotic treatment.A district hospital primarily served by private pediatricians practicing in a managed care environment. PATIENTS AND LABORATORY TESTS: All infants admitted to the well-baby nursery in 1997-1998 were eligible for this study. Infants born with a variety of risk factors (eg, borderline prematurity, membranes ruptured for over 18 hours, mother positive for group B streptococcus [GBS], and maternal fever) or clinical manifestations suggesting possible infection (either clinical signs or persistent hypoglycemia) were evaluated with white blood cell count, differential, and C-reactive protein (CRP) soon after birth and 12 hours later. Decisions to transfer to the neonatal intensive care unit and to treat with antibiotics were based on abnormal laboratory test results, particularly an increased level of CRP (>1 mg/dL), persistent hypoglycemia, or clinical signs. Discontinuation of antibiotic treatment was primarily based on return to normal of the CRP.Of 8299 live births, 7562 initially went to the well-baby nursery. Evaluation occurred in 1894 (25%) and 425 were transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit. In 162, antibiotics were discontinued within 48 hours. The majority were treated for 3 to 5 days, with only 19 (3 with GBS sepsis) treated for 6 days or more. There were 216 infants transferred because of risk factors and 209 because of clinical findings. Peak CRP primarily determined the duration of antibiotic treatment, with the mean peak CRP rising from 2.8 mg/dL in those treated for 3 days, to 3.8, 4.3, 8.4, 8.9, and 13. 7 mg/dL in those treated for 4, 5, 6, 7, or >7 days, respectively. The mean duration of treatment was 3.1 days. No infant initially treated with antibiotics and discharged when the CRP returned to normal was readmitted within the next month. No infant with normal values on the sepsis screen was readmitted within 1 month with evidence of bacterial infection, but 1 infant with no risk factors was readmitted at 22 days of age with GBS sepsis and meningitis.Using a clinical pathway for neonatal sepsis, which is based primarily on CRP determinations, can minimize antibiotic exposure and shorten hospital stays.
ISSN: 0031-4005