HealthDay News — Formalized antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) effectively reduce antibiotic prescribing in children’s hospitals, research published in Pediatrics indicates.

Antibiotics are prescribed during more than 50% of hospitalizations for children, and often, they are unnecessary, noted Adam L. Hersh, MD, PhD, of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, and colleagues.

To examine the impact of formalized ASPs on antibiotic prescribing over time, the researchers followed ASPs in 31 children’s hospitals. Of these, nine hospitals had formalized ASPs and 22 control hospitals were without formalized stewardship programs.

The difference in average antibiotic use was compared for all hospitals from 2004 to 2012, before and after the release of the 2007 guidelines from the Infectious Diseases Society of America for developing ASPs.

There was a larger decline in average antibiotic use in hospitals with formalized ASPs versus those without formalized programs from 2007 to 2012 (11% versus 8%; P=0.04), compared with the years preceding the guidelines.

Relative to the preimplementation period, eight of nine hospitals with formalized ASPs had reductions in antibiotic use, with a 5.7% average monthly decline in days of therapy/1,000 patient-days. The average monthly decline was 8.2% for the select subset of antibiotics.

“This multicenter study strengthens recommendations for universal implementation of ASPs in acute care hospitals,” concluded the investigators.


  1. Hersh AL et al. Pediatrics. 2014; doi: 10.1542/peds.2014-2579


Several authors disclosed financial ties to Pfizer for a grant to study antimicrobial stewardship.