Antimicrobial consumption in a tertiary children’s hospital in Finland (2003–2013)

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Numbers of resistant pathogens are constantly increasing, and prudent use of antimicrobials is of paramount importance. In order to see whether any changes in the use of antimicrobials in recent years have occurred, we decided to monitor the consumption of these drugs at a single tertiary paediatric hospital.

Materials and methods

This single-centre retrospective study investigated the consumption of antimicrobials in defined daily doses (DDDs according to the Anatomical Therapeutical Chemical /DDD index) in a 130-bed paediatric tertiary hospital. The data on the consumption of antimicrobials were collected from years 2003–2013 by using electronic surveillance records provided by the local pharmacy. The consumption was related to days of hospital care.


During 2003–2013, the use of penicillins, cephalosporins and carbapenems increased by 28%, 46% and 110%, respectively. The consumption of both aminoglycosides and vancomycin decreased by 61% and 41%, respectively. Amphotericin B use clearly decreased by 39% while the use of novel azoles and echinocandins increased.


Increased use of carbapenems was the most significant finding of our study. The year-to-year consumption of antibacterials was in general relatively stable and new antibacterials were taken into use conservatively. In contrast to antibacterials, novel antifungals were rapidly adopted into use despite scarce evidence on their safety in children.

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