An Audit to optimize antibiotics use in neonatal septicemia

  • Ayesha Usman Services Hospital Lahore
  • Maria Zamurad Khan Mayo Hospital Lahore
  • Maimoona Zamurad Khan Mayo Hospital Lahore
  • Abdullah Hussain Services Hospital Lahore
Keywords: Antibiotic stewardship program, Antibiotic prescription, Neonatal sepsis


Objectives: To assess appropriate antibiotics use in neonatal sepsis and to highlight the need for developing an Antibiotic stewardship program at local levels.

Methods: A clinical audit was conducted in the neonatal ward of the tertiary care hospital of Lahore for one year from May 2019 to May 2020. Reports of blood culture and drugs susceptibility were gathered from the microbiology department, and clinical records were evaluated about the choice of the antimicrobials, dosage, frequency, and clinical prognosis. The statistics were applied using SPSS software.

Results: Eighty five neonates with the mean age of five days were treated in tertiary care hospital for septicemia. Every patient received more than one antibiotic empirically. The most prescribed drug combination (90.6%) was Cefotaxime and Amikacin. Optimum antibiotics dose was prescribed in only 70.2% of cases. Blood isolates showed gram-negative bacilli in 69 (81.2%) cases, gram positive cocci in 14 (16.5%) cases, two (2.3%) culture susceptibility reports showed growth of candida. Gram negative organisms were most susceptible to Imipenem (54%), Piperacillin-Tazobactam (48%) and Gentamicin (48%). Gram-positive organisms showed the most susceptibility to Vancomycin (100%), Amikacin (92%), and Co-amoxiclav (85%). Meropenem (39%), Linezolid (28%), and Vancomycin (27%) were the most commonly given alternate antibiotics. All the patients (n=10, 11.8%) whose culture sensitivity reporting showed susceptibility to empirical therapy survived.

Conclusion: Due to poor availability of latest data about local antibacterial resistance pattern and lack of knowledge among pediatricians about latest antibiotic prescribing protocols, many inconsistencies were noted in the use of antibiotics in neonatal sepsis which resulted in a poor outcome hence, reflecting in international key health indicators (neonatal mortality rate) of country. Concerning the change in the resistance pattern of microorganisms to antimicrobials, it is high time to collect local data about antibacterial susceptibility and develop an antibiotic stewardship program to stop inappropriate use of antibiotics.


How to cite this:
Usman A, Khan MZ, Khan MZ, Hussain A. Audit to optimize antibiotics use in neonatal septicemia. Pak J Med Sci. 2022;38(6):1540-1545. doi:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

How to Cite
Usman, A., Khan, M. Z., Khan, M. Z., & Hussain, A. (2022). An Audit to optimize antibiotics use in neonatal septicemia. Pakistan Journal of Medical Sciences, 38(6).
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