The impact of paediatric antimicrobial stewardship programmes on patient outcomes

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Purpose of review

Although there has been an unprecedented global effort to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance, little emphasis has been placed on children. This review aims to evaluate the impact of paediatric antimicrobial stewardship programmes as well as providing a practical approach for effectively implementing them in community-based settings and in hospitals.

Recent findings

Although rates of serious bacterial infection are low in children, the rates of antimicrobial use and resistance are comparable with adults. Different strategies are required to implement antimicrobial stewardship in community-based settings compared to in hospitals. Nationally coordinated, whole-system approaches have achieved long-term, sustainable reductions in antimicrobial prescribing, as well as reductions in resistance rates at population level, with no evidence of an increase in rate of serious infection or bacterial complications.


Antimicrobial stewardship programmes in neonates and children have unique characteristics and issues. There is currently no consensus on how to measure consumption of antimicrobials in neonates and children. This is a research priority. Benchmarking and clinical networks in neonates and paediatrics are important to share practice and drive best use of antimicrobials.

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