Discordant antibiotic therapy for urinary tract infections (UTIs) is common and associated with higher length of stay (LOS) in hospitalized children, according to a study published online last month in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. But lead author Karen Jerardi, MD, division of hospital medicine at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center says the reason might be related to physicians, not their patients.
"First, use our knowledge of local resistance patterns and patient factors to select an antibiotic likely to be concordant," she says. "The second thing is [that] we probably need to analyze our practice a little bit more and try to figure out if we are just keeping patients in the hospital because we want to see them be on the concordant antibiotic for X number of hours before we send them home. Does that benefit the patient more, or are we keeping them in the hospital longer for our own peace of mind?"
The report, "Discordant Antibiotic Therapy and Length of Stay in Children Hospitalized for Urinary Tract Infection," found that discordant therapy occurred in 10% of cases in which patients had laboratory-confirmed UTIs and, in adjusted analyses, was associated with a 1.8-day increase in LOS.
Dr. Jerardi says that future studies are needed to determine whether pediatric hospitalists are extending LOS by keeping patients longer than absolutely necessary. She cautions, though, that how long a child is kept in the hospital should be determined by case-specific circumstances.
"Hopefully, this will make people analyze how they do things," she adds, "and think to themselves, 'Would I keep that patient an extra day longer because I had to switch their antibiotic—even if their fever went away, they were drinking great, and Mom and Dad were ready to go home—just for my peace of mind?'"