Scientific publications

Variations in Antibiotic Use and Sepsis Management in Neonatal Intensive Care Units: A European Survey

Aug 27, 2021 | Magazine: Antibiotics

Felipe Garrido  1 , Karel Allegaert  2   3   4 , Cristina Arribas  1 , Eduardo Villamor  5 , Genny Raffaeli  6   7 , Miren Paniagua  1 , Giacomo Cavallaro  6 , On Behalf Of European Antibiotics Study Group Easg


Management of neonatal sepsis and the use of antimicrobials have an important impact on morbidity and mortality. However, there is no recent background on which antibiotic regimens are used in different European neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).

Our study aimed to describe the use of antibiotics and other aspects of early- and late-onset sepsis (EOS and LOS, respectively) management by European NICUs.

We conducted an online survey among NICUs throughout Europe to collect information about antibiotic stewardship, antibiotic regimens, and general aspects of managing neonatal infections. NICUs from up to 38 European countries responded, with 271 valid responses. Most units had written clinical guidelines for EOS (92.2%) and LOS (81.1%) management.

For EOS, ampicillin, penicillin, gentamicin, and amikacin were the most commonly used antibiotics. Analysis of the combinations of EOS regimens showed that the most frequently used was ampicillin plus gentamicin (54.6%). For LOS, the most frequently used antibiotics were vancomycin (52.4%), gentamicin (33.9%), cefotaxime (28%), and meropenem (15.5%).

Other aspects of the general management of sepsis have also been analyzed. The management of neonatal sepsis in European NICUs is diverse. There was high self-reported adherence to the local clinical guidelines. There was homogeneity in the combination of antibiotics in EOS but less in LOS.

CITATION  Antibiotics (Basel). 2021 Aug 27;10(9):1046.  doi: 10.3390/antibiotics10091046