Drug use density in critically ill children and newborns: Analysis of various methodologies

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Objective:To compare in the pediatric, cardiac, and neonatal intensive care units, three methods of assessing vancomycin and linezolid drug use density by number of: defined daily doses (DDDs), prescribed daily doses, and days of drug use per 100 patient days.Design:Retrospective study.Setting:A tertiary care children’s hospital.Patients:We reviewed the charts of patients admitted to the cardiac intensive care unit and neonatal intensive care unit in 2005 who were treated with vancomycin, and those admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit who were treated with vancomycin or linezolid during 2004 and 2005.Interventions:None.Measurements and Main Results:The number of patients, treatment days, total amount of vancomycin/linezolid, total intensive care unit admissions, and patient days were recorded. We used the World Health Organization definition of DDD for vancomycin and linezolid (2000 and 1200 mg, respectively). The prescribed daily dose for each intensive care unit was calculated for each year by dividing the total amount of the medication administered by the total number of treatment days. The drug use densities were then calculated as the total DDDs, prescribed daily doses, and days of drug use per 100 patient days. The vancomycin use densities were significantly different among the three intensive care units when compared by each method. They were significantly lower in all three units when expressed as DDDs per 100 patient days. The vancomycin drug use density in the pediatric intensive care unit was significantly decreased during 2005 compared with 2004 by all three methods.Conclusions:In critically ill children, drug use density of vancomycin is significantly less when evaluated by the DDD method compared with the prescribed daily dose method, a more appropriate method in children. However, the simplest and most accurate method of assessing drug use density is the number of days of drug use method, which allows comparison of drug use density between different pediatric facilities or clinical units.

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