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Vancomycin use in pediatric neurosurgery patients


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this article is to describe a pediatric neurosurgery patient population receiving vancomycin and examine the indications for and appropriateness of vancomycin use.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed on the pediatric neurosurgery patients at Egleston Children’s Hospital who received vancomycin from January 1 through December 31, 1996. Vancomycin use was compared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommendations for vancomycin use.

RESULTS: Thirty patients received 115 doses of vancomycin. The median patient age was 8.0 years, and 17 (56.7%) were male. Vancomycin was used for prophylaxis in 28 (93.3%) patients and empiric therapy in 3 (10.0%) patients; one patient received vancomycin for surgical prophylaxis followed by empiric therapy for suspected meningitis. Vancomycin prophylaxis was initiated after the incision in 6 (21.4%) patients and was continued as prophylaxis for more than one dose in 26 (92.9%) patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Vancomycin was used primarily as surgical prophylaxis in pediatric neurosurgery patients, and use was not consistent with the Hospital Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee recommendations. These data suggest that for certain subpopulations, such as pediatric neurosurgery patients, there is a need for more specialized recommendations. Furthermore, prudent vancomycin use is warranted to successfully decrease the risk of further emergence of vancomycin resistance. Because vancomycin use may be prevalent in this population, assessment of vancomycin use in pediatric neurosurgery patients followed by establishment of vancomycin clinical guidelines may help improve the appropriateness of vancomycin use in this population.

Shah SS, Sinkowitz-Cochran RL, Keyserling HL, Jarvis WR

Am J Infect Control 1999 Dec;27(6):482-7

PMID: 10586151