How prompt is prompt in daily practice? Earlier initiation of empirical antibacterial therapy for the febrile neutropenic patient
until further notice
SourceEuropean Journal of Cancer Care, 20, 5, (2011), pp. 679-85
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Cancer Care
SubjectN4i 1: Pathogenesis and modulation of inflammation NCMLS 1: Infection and autoimmunity; N4i 2: Invasive mycoses and compromised host ONCOL 3: Translational research; NCMLS 2: Immune Regulation; ONCOL 4: Quality of Care
With fever being the most common manifestation of early sepsis, clinical practice guidelines emphasise the prompt institution of broad-spectrum antibacterial therapy at its onset. An audit was performed on the haematology ward to determine whether there was any delay in starting antibiotic treatment during neutropenia in clinical patients and to define the main reasons for this. Strategies were developed, implemented and evaluated on short- and long-term implications on the delay in the start of antibacterial therapy. The procedures specified in the protocol for starting empirical antibacterial therapy were audited to assess whether the target for starting therapy within 30 min of fever was achieved. Initial results indicated that two major changes to the protocol were necessary to achieve a reduction in the delay between detection of fever and starting antibacterial therapy. This modified protocol was evaluated 4 months after implementation by means of a consecutive audit. After 3 years, a third audit was performed to determine the long-term implications of the improved protocol. In the initial audit, the mean time interval between the onset of fever and the administration of antibacterial therapy was 75 min. With the modified protocol, the mean time to starting therapy was shortened to 32 min (P < 0.05). Changing the protocol for starting antibacterial therapy allowed nurses to administer the first dose of antibiotic significantly earlier.
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