Empirical antibiotic therapy in children

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This policy is intended to guide medical staff in GG&C hospitals on the choice of appropriate treatment of infections in children. Please consult local unit guidance for patients in Schiehallion ward and the neonatal unit.
The initial treatment may need to be modified according to clinical response and results of microbiology and other investigations. The appropriate specimens for microbology should be taken whenever possible before administering antibiotics, however this will depend upon the severity of the illness and the nature of the specimen. In patients who are stable and not septic, and in whom infection is only one of a number of possiblities, consideration should be given to deferring antibiotics until the results of cultures are known, as long as there is no change in the clinical condition in the interim.
The need for antibiotics and their route of administation should be reviewed daily.
A definite decision regarding treatment should be taken at 2 and 5 days. When clinically reasonable, consider changing from IV to oral therapy.
Editorial Information

Last reviewed: 01 December 2017

Next review: 31 December 2019

Author(s): Ysobel Gourlay and Greater Glasgow & Cyde Antimicrobial Utilisation Committee, ADTC

Version: 6

Approved By: Clinical Effectiveness