[Antibiotic prescribing in a paediatric emergency department]

An Pediatr (Barc). 2010 Sep;73(3):115-20. doi: 10.1016/j.anpedi.2010.02.017. Epub 2010 May 26.
[Article in Spanish]


Introduction: Adequate antibiotic prescribing in Paediatric Emergency Departments (PEDs) is a necessity due to the high number of patients consulting for infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antibiotic prescription quality in a PED.

Material and methods: Retrospective study of patients attending a PED and diagnosed with acute otitis media, pharyngotonsillitis or community-acquired pneumonia during 2008. A random sample of 100 cases for each disease was selected. The parameters employed for assessing the prescribing quality were: illness subject to being treated with antibiotics, adequate antibiotic, dosage, interval of administration and length of treatment. An error in any of these parameters was considered an inappropriate prescription. The appropriateness of the antibiotic prescriptions was assessed based on the recommendations described on our hospital protocols.

Results: Antibiotics were prescribed to 219 patients (73%). Therapy was considered to be inappropriate in 67 children (22.3%). Unnecessary treatment was indicated in 15 cases (6.8%) and in 4 patients (2%) the antibiotic selected was incorrect. Antibiotic was not prescribed to one patient subject to being treated (1.2%). The treatment length was wrong in 22 cases (11.5%), inappropriately short in all of them, the interval of administration in 20 (10.1%) and dosage in 13 (6.5%).

Conclusions: The use of antibiotics was appropriate for the diseases analysed, particularly as regards to the indication and antibiotic selection. The length of the treatment was the aspect found to be most deficient. Some important measures should be undertaken in order to improve antibiotic prescription quality.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Prescriptions / standards
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Female
  • Hospital Departments
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pediatrics
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents