Rev Esp Quimioter 2018; 31(3):209-216

Appropriateness of antimicrobial prescriptions in the emergency department of a tertiary hospital


Background. Antibiotics are widely prescribed in the Emergency Department (ED), representing 26-62% of outpatient antibiotic prescriptions. Around 40% of antibiotic prescriptions in hospitalized patients are inappropriate or unnecessary. The aim of the study was to assess the appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions according to local empirical antibiotic treatment guidelines, in the ED of a tertiary hospital.
Material and methods. Observational, retrospective study including patients attending the ED in November 2016, with an antibiotic prescription, excluding those from residents.
Results. A total of 676 patients were included, 57.1% women, mean age 47.4 ± 21.2 years. Patient’s diagnoses were 27.2% urinary tract infections (UTI), 24.1% lower respiratory tract infections, 15.4% skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI), 13.8% upper respiratory tract infections, 11.8% oral infections, 2.7% genital/sexually transmitted infections, 1.6% gastrointestinal infections, 0.3% ocular infections and 3.1% other. The most prescribed antibiotic families were: 44.1% penicillins, 21.3% fluoroquinolones. The most prescribed antibiotics were: fosfomycin trometamol in UTI (32.1%), levofloxacin in lower respiratory tract (46.2%) and amoxicillin/clavulanate in oral infections (71.6%), SSTI (62.5%) and upper respiratory tract (46.6%). In 56.8% (384) of the prescriptions antibiotics were indicated. An appropriated antibiotic was selected in 62% (238) of the prescriptions. Appropriated dosage and duration were selected in 82.8% (197) and 45.4% (108) of the prescriptions, respectively.
Conclusions. Appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions was low, mainly due to an overuse of antibiotics when not indicated, broad spectrum and incorrect treatment duration. These data reinforce the need to enhance adherence to local empirical antibiotic treatment guidelines by developing an antimicrobial stewardship program in the ED.

Rev Esp Quimioter 2018; 31(3):209-216 [Texto completo PDF]