Subscribe to the World's Most Popular Newsletter (it's free!)
The subject of this review is the rational prescribing of antimicrobial agents for the therapy of serious community-acquired infections in hospitalised infants and children. First, cost-containment strategies such as streamlining of antibacterial therapy, outpatient parenteral antibacterial therapy and sequential (‘stepdown’) therapy with parenteral followed by oral therapy are reviewed. In most of these areas, paediatric studies are scant or lacking. Then specific paediatric aspects of the choice of parenteral antibacterials such as penicillins, cephalosporins, aminoglycosides, macrolides and other agents are discussed. With particular reference to cost containment, rational treatment strategies for some serious bacterial infections such as meningitis, occult bacteraemia, endocarditis, osteomyelitis, arthritis, pyelonephritis,
Lyme borreliosis (advanced stages) and pneumonia are proposed. In most of these
disease, there is potential for cutting treatment costs and studies that compare these newer strategies with traditional treatment regimens are urgently needed.