#WorldAntimicrobialAwarenessWeek: Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs)

19 Nov, 2020

In the spirit of World Antimicrobial Awareness Week, we’d like to share a summary of the findings from the “Implementation and Impact of Paediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs: A Systematic Scoping Review” study.

As you may already know, Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs) are a set of coordinated interventions designed to improve the selection of the appropriate agent, dose, route of administration, and therapy duration without compromising patient outcomes.

Antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed medicine in paediatrics, but it has been revealed that between 20% to 50% of these prescriptions are potentially unnecessary or inappropriate and that many children still receive broad-spectrum antibiotics for viral infections or antibiotic courses that are significantly longer than needed. This unnecessary exposure increases the risk of serious side effects, raises healthcare costs, and contributes significantly to the global emergency of antimicrobial resistance. However, one of the key findings in this study shows that paediatric ASPs have a significant impact on the reduction of these risks, costs and antimicrobial resistance.

The study further demonstrated that paediatric APSs are widely implemented in the USA, but still very limited in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. The authors call on more efforts to facilitate their uptake in these countries, particularly in order to improve the collection of surveillance data regarding antimicrobials use and antimicrobial resistance.

This is especially important for the paediatric population, because the lack of data represents a greater challenge for paediatricians in their daily practice, compared with physicians treating adult patients.

We applaud the efforts of #PentaPeople – Elisa Barbieri; Daniele Dona; Mike Sharland; Theoklis Zaoutis; Carlo Giaquinto, who are authors of the study.

Click here for the full “Implementation and Impact of Paediatric Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs: A Systematic Scoping Review” study.