Intravenous to Oral Antibiotic Switch for Children

Introduction

Antimicrobial stewardship is a key strategy for the prevention and management of healthcare associated infections, and for preventing the development and spread of antimicrobial resistance. Although intravenous antibiotics are necessary for the treatment of many serious and critical bacterial infections, there are risks associated with the intravenous route (such as thrombophlebitis and line-associated infections) so switching to oral antibiotics should occur when it is safe to do so.

In June 2016, a systematic review of antibiotic duration and timing of intravenous to oral switch for 36 paediatric infectious diseases was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases by the Australian and New Zealand Paediatric Infectious Diseases–Australasian Stewardship of Antimicrobials in Paediatrics (ANZPID-ASAP) group. The group developed a national guideline based on the review. This was adopted by the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network in a practice guideline released in March 2017.

The Clinical Excellence Commission partnered with Sydney Children’s Hospital at Randwick to develop and test interventions to support uptake and implementation of the guideline.