METHODS: This was a prospective study conducted at a tertiary hospital in Malaysia, from 1st August 2010 until 31st July 2011. Children aged between 1 mo and 12 y who were admitted for CAP and had blood cultures performed before starting intravenous antibiotics were recruited. Children with congenital pneumonia, immunodeficiency, chronic cardiac or respiratory disorders, nosocomial pneumonia or those on corticosteroids, were excluded. Decision for admission was made by the attending Accident and Emergency physician.
RESULTS: One hundred and seventy-one children were enrolled. The median age was 13 mo (range: 38 d-10 y 3 mo) and 59 % were males. Blood cultures were positive in 1.2 % (2/171) of patients while the contamination rate was 1.8 % (3/171). Doctors altered antibiotics based on blood culture results in only one patient.
CONCLUSIONS: Both the yield and the impact of blood culture results on the adjustment of empiric antibiotic treatment were very small. There was a high contamination rate. The recommended practice of performing blood cultures in all children admitted with CAP should be reviewed.
METHODOLOGY: One hundred and ninety-one episodes of fever and neutropenia in 128 patients from October 1997 to December 1998 were included in a prospective, open-label, single-centre study. Patients were randomly assigned to either treatment group and evaluated as successes or failures according to defined criteria. Daily assessments were made on all patients and all adverse events recorded. Univariate and multivariate analysis of outcomes and a cost analysis were carried out.
RESULTS: There were 176 evaluable patient-episodes with 51.1% in the single-daily ceftriaxone-amikacin group and 48.9% in the ceftazidime-amikacin group. There were 50 positive blood cultures: 12 Gram-positive bacteria, 33 Gram-negative bacteria and five fungi. Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa) accounted for 14% of total isolates. The overall success rate was 55.5% in the ceftriaxone group compared to 51.2% in the ceftazidime group (P = 0.56). Mean time to defervescence was 4.2 days in the single-daily group and 4.3 days in the thrice-daily group. There were nine infection-related deaths; five in the single-daily ceftriaxone group. The daily cost of the once-daily regime was 42 Malaysian Ringgit less than the thrice-daily regime. There was a low incidence of adverse effects in both groups, although ototoxicity was not evaluable.
CONCLUSIONS: The once-daily regime of ceftriaxone plus amikacin was as effective as the 'standard' combination of thrice-daily ceftazidime and amikacin with no significant adverse effects in either group. The convenience and substantial cost benefit of the once-daily regime will be particularly useful in developing countries with limited health resources and in centres with a low prevalence of P. aeruginosa.