Use of antimicrobial drugs in general hospitals: IV. Infants and children

T. R. Townsend, M. Shapiro, B. Rosner, E. H. Kass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


The use of antimicrobial drugs was studied among 933 randomly selected infants and children who were hospitalized in 20 short stay general hospitals in Pennsylvania. Twenty two percent of pediatric patients received antimicrobial drugs: 5% of neonates and 57% of patients aged 12 to 18 months. Sixty eight percent of the 265 antimicrobial courses administered to these children consisted of a penicillin or a penicillin analogue. Ampicillin was the single drug most frequently administered and was given in 32% of all courses. In contrast to the findings in older children, penicillin or penicillin analogues and aminoglycosides were the only antimicrobial drug groups administered to neonates. Seventy nine percent of courses were initiated for proved or suspected infections and 17% were initiated to prevent infections associated with surgical or nonsurgical invasive procedures. Cultures were associated with the initiation of 84% of courses among neonates and 39% of courses among children 6 to 9 years of age. This study provides the initial information, from data derived from randomly selected general hospitals, to permit a statement of norms of practice with respect to use of antimicrobial drugs in pediatric populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-578
Number of pages6
Issue number5 II Suppl.
StatePublished - Dec 1 1979

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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