An escalation in multidrug-resistant (MDR) infections and outbreaks among children in U.S. intensive care units has caused alarm among providers. Bacterial infections, including Enterobacteriaceae, are resistant to numerous drugs and are especially concerning for children, who often have less-developed immune systems and limited options for broad-spectrum antibiotics. Fewer options ultimately equates to an increased risk of death.
In response, healthcare organizations must take greater responsibility in implementing antimicrobial stewardship initiatives and interventions aimed at protecting their most vulnerable populations. Consider that findings from a recent study published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society revealed that U.S. children are experiencing more than a 700 percent increase in Enterobacteriaceae-associated infections. This growing issue fuels longer hospital stays and increased mortality risk. Further, many of the pediatric patients studied had already acquired the infection before they were admitted to the hospital, indicating exposure from environmental sources.
Between 2007 and 2015, researchers analyzed data from approximately 94,000 pediatric patients who were diagnosed with Enterobacteriaceae-associated infections throughout 48 children's hospitals across the nation. The study revealed infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family increased from 0.2 percent in 2007 to 1.5 percent in 2015. Additionally, these patients experienced a 20 percent increase in hospital stays than patients with infections who were not resistant to antibiotics.