Long-term parenteral nutrition has transformed the prognosis for children suffering from intestinal failure. However, parenteral nutrition itself is associated with considerable morbidity and mortality including that caused by sepsis. Aims to examine a strategy of cycled enteral antibiotics in reducing the incidence of sepsis in paediatric intestinal failure patients. Retrospective analysis of the incidence of sepsis rates of patients on long-term parenteral nutrition, at a tertiary paediatric hospital. Patients were separated into those who received cycled enteral antibiotics and a control group. Sepsis rates before and during cycled enteral antibiotics were compared with comparable timeframes between the cycled enteral antibiotics and control groups. Central venous catheter removal rates were also compared. Fifteen patients (eight cycled enteral antibiotics, & seven controls) received 9512 parenteral nutrition days, with a total of 132 sepsis episodes. All eight patients of the treatment group demonstrated a decrease in the frequency of episodes of sepsis following the introduction of cycled enteral antibiotics. The cycled enteral antibiotics group had a significant reduction in infection rate during the treatment period (from 2.14 to 1.06 per 100 parenteral nutrition days, P = 0.014: median effect size −1.04 CI 95%–1.93, −0.22), whereas the controls had no significant change (1.91 – 2.36 per 100 parenteral nutrition days P = 0.402: median effect size 0.92 CI 95%–1.96, 4.17). The central venous catheter survival rates increased in the cycled enteral antibiotics group from 0.44 central venous catheter removals per 100 parenteral nutrition days to 0.27 central venous catheter removals per 100 parenteral nutrition days, although this was not statistically significant. Cycled enteral antibiotics significantly reduced the rate of sepsis in a small group of paediatric intestinal failure patients. Larger well-designed prospective studies are warranted to further explore this finding.
- sepsis rates
- parenteral nutrition