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Associations of antibiotic use among children hospitalized for an asthma attack

Published online: June 3, 2020

Professional society guidelines recommend against routine early antibiotic use for children with an asthma attack, but high antibiotic prescribing rates have been reported in developed countries.

In a research article recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), a study led by Dr. Yusuke Okubo assessed the effectiveness of the early antibiotic use strategy in the routine care of children, using data on 48,743 children hospitalized for asthma attack with no indication of bacterial infection during 2010–2018.

The investigators compared length of hospital stay, healthcare costs, risks of probiotic use and mechanical ventilation between children who received early antibiotic treatment and those who did not. Children with early antibiotic treatment had longer hospital stay, higher hospitalization costs, and higher risk of probiotic use than children who did not receive early antibiotic therapy. The risks of mechanical ventilation and 30-day readmission were similar between the groups or slightly higher in the treated group.

Antibiotic therapy may be associated with prolonged hospital stay, elevated hospitalization costs, and high risk of probiotic use without improving treatment failure and readmission, suggesting the need for reducing inappropriate antibiotic use among children hospitalized for asthma.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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