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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 149-154

Can enteral antibiotics be used to treat pneumonia in the surgical intensive care unit? A clinical outcomes and cost comparison


1 Department of Pharmacy, Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, United State
2 Division of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United State
3 Department of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, Ohio, United State

Correspondence Address:
Anthony T Gerlach
Department of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, The Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, Room 368 Doan Hall, 410 West Tenth Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43210
United State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2229-5151.164922

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Background: Controlling healthcare costs without compromising patient care is a focus given recent healthcare changes in the United States. The purpose of this study was to assess clinical improvement in surgical intensive care unit (SICU) patients initiated on or transitioned to enteral antibiotics compared to those who solely receive intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy for treatment of bacterial pneumonia. Materials and Methods: This retrospective cohort study included patients with a positive quantitative respiratory culture being treated for bacterial pneumonia in a SICU from 1/1/09 to 3/31/11. Two distinct patient groups were identified: Those treated with IV antibiotics exclusively (IV) and those either initiated on or transitioned to enteral antibiotics within 4 days of antibiotic initiation (PO). The primary endpoint of clinical improvement was assessed on day of antibiotic discontinuation. Results: A total of 647 patients were evaluated; 124 met inclusion criteria (30 patients PO group and 94 IV group). There was no difference in clinical improvement (86.7 PO vs 72.3% IV, P = 0.14) or recurrence (10 PO vs. 12.8% IV, P > 0.99) between groups. Secondary outcomes of duration of mechanical ventilation, ICU and hospital length of stay, and all-cause mortality were also similar. Antibiotic and infection-related costs were significantly decreased in the PO group ($1,042 vs $697, P = 0.04; $20,776 vs $17,381, P = 0.012, respectively). Conclusions: SICU patients initiated on or transitioned to PO antibiotics for pneumonia had similar clinical outcomes, but significantly less infection-related and antibiotic costs compared to those receiving IV therapy. Further, prospective studies are warranted.


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