Background:Overuse of antibiotics has been linked to the global growth of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). In 2018, increase in meropenem usage in our hospital revealed that we achieved the “Start Smart” but not “Then Focus” element. Following revised carbapenem stewardship, we aimed to evaluate the adherence to guidelines, by monitoring patients initiated on meropenem.

Methods:As part of the antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) at our 1800-bed teaching hospital, carbanepem stewardship was revised in September 2018 and required consultant approval for all carbapenem initiation or continuation following specialist advice. Meropenem prescriptions in adult and paediatric patients were generated from the electronic prescription system and reviewed daily for one week in August 2019 to ascertain if prescribed in line with guideline recommendations or on the advice of microbiology or infectious diseases.

Results:Sixty patients were reviewed. Microbiology or Infectious Diseases recommendation was obtained in 37% of patients. 95% had samples taken where blood cultures accounted for 85% but over a third of these had no growth reported. Meropenem was initiated empirically in 50% of patients mainly for neutropenic sepsis while 28% were culture directed. 35% of patients were escalated from piperacillin-tazobactam of which 57% had neutropenia while de-escalation occurred in 10%.

Conclusion:AMR is related directly to antibiotic use at a patient level. Our revised strategy resulted in a reduction of total carbapenem DDD/1000 Admission from 128 (June 2018) to 87 (June 2019) through improved adherence to guideline and infection specialists recommendations however more work is required to promote switch to narrower-spectrum choice.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

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