Prescribing antibiotics for suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) is common practice and may lead to unnecessary antibiotic exposure. We aimed to review UTI diagnosis and management in the emergency department and to identify targets for antimicrobial stewardship.
Single-center, retrospective cohort study of children aged 12 weeks to younger than 18 years discharged from the emergency department with a diagnosis of UTI between October and December 2016. Children with genitourinary malformations were excluded. Clinical information, urine collection method, laboratory findings, and urine culture results were gathered. The sensitivity and specificity of nitrite and leukocyte esterase for UTI diagnosis were calculated. The relationship between urinalysis characteristics and confirmed UTI was examined using logistic regression.
A total of 183 children with a median (interquartile range) age of 4.2 (1.1-7.5) years were included; 82.5% were female. Almost all children were discharged home on antibiotics (n = 180, 98%) for a median (interquartile range) duration of 7 (7-10) days. A total of 85 patients (46.4%) received antibiotics despite negative urine cultures leading to 525 unnecessary antibiotic days. The presence of nitrites was the strongest predictor of UTI (odds ratio = 20.22, P < 0.001) and was highly specific.
Current practice in managing suspected pediatric UTIs in our ED resulted in significant and unnecessary antibiotic exposure. We identified targets to reduce unnecessary antibiotic exposure including improving the diagnostic accuracy of UTIs, a process to discontinue antibiotics for negative cultures and standardizing antimicrobial duration.
Pediatric emergency care. 2019 Feb 28 [Epub ahead of print]
Mohammad Alghounaim, Olivia Ostrow, Kathryn Timberlake, Susan E Richardson, Martin Koyle, Michelle Science
Department of Pharmacy, Hospital for Sick Children., Department of Pediatric Laboratory Medicine, Hospital for Sick Children., Division of Urology, The Hospital for Sick Children and Department of Surgery, University of Toronto.