Reference: Neha S. Joshi, Arun Gupta, Jessica M. Allan, Ronald S. Cohen, Janelle L. Aby, Brittany Weldon, Juliann L. Kim, William E. Benitz, Adam Frymoyer. (2018). Clinical Monitoring of Well-Appearing Infants Born to Mothers With Chorioamnionitis. Pediatrics 141(4), e20172056; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2017-2056
BACKGROUND: The risk of early-onset sepsis is low in well-appearing late-preterm and term infants even in the setting of chorioamnionitis. The empirical antibiotic strategies for chorioamnionitis-exposed infants that are recommended by national guidelines result in antibiotic exposure for numerous well-appearing, uninfected infants. We aimed to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in chorioamnionitis-exposed infants through the implementation of a treatment approach that focused on clinical presentation to determine the need for antibiotics.
METHODS: Within a quality-improvement framework, a new treatment approach was implemented in March 2015. Well-appearing late-preterm and term infants who were exposed to chorioamnionitis were clinically monitored for at least 24 hours in a level II nursery; those who remained well appearing received no laboratory testing or antibiotics and were transferred to the level I nursery or discharged from the hospital. Newborns who became symptomatic were further evaluated and/or treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic use, laboratory testing, culture results, and clinical outcomes were collected.
RESULTS: Among 277 well-appearing, chorioamnionitis-exposed infants, 32 (11.6%) received antibiotics during the first 15 months of the quality-improvement initiative. No cases of culture result–positive early-onset sepsis occurred. No infant required intubation or inotropic support. Only 48 of 277 (17%) patients had sepsis laboratory testing. The implementation of the new approach was associated with a 55% reduction (95% confidence interval 40%–65%) in antibiotic exposure across all infants ≥34 weeks’ gestation born at our hospital.
CONCLUSIONS: A management approach using clinical presentation to determine the need for antibiotics in chorioamnionitis-exposed infants was successful in reducing antibiotic exposure and was not associated with any clinically relevant delays in care or adverse outcomes.