Article

A survey on hematology-oncology pediatric AIEOP centers: prophylaxis, empirical therapy and nursing prevention procedures of infectious complications.

Immunoinfectivology Units, IRCCS Children's Hospital Bambino Gesù, Rome, Italy.
Haematologica (Impact Factor: 5.94). 01/2012; 97(1):147-50. DOI: 10.3324/haematol.2011.048918
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A nationwide questionnaire-based survey was designed to evaluate the management and prophylaxis of febrile neutropenia in pediatric patients admitted to hematology-oncology and hematopoietic stem cell transplant units. Of the 34 participating centers, 40 and 63%, respectively, continue to prescribe antibacterial and antimycotic prophylaxis in low-risk subjects and 78 and 94% in transplant patients. Approximately half of the centers prescribe a combination antibiotic regimen as first-line therapy in low-risk patients and up to 81% in high-risk patients. When initial empirical therapy fails after seven days, 63% of the centers add empirical antimycotic therapy in low-and 81% in high-risk patients. Overall management varies significantly across centers. Preventive nursing procedures are in accordance with international guidelines. This survey is the first to focus on prescribing practices in children with cancer and could help to implement practice guidelines.

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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial infections are common in children with cancer and can lead to life-threatening complications. Infections in these patients mainly occur during neutropenic periods, and may be caused by Gram-positive or Gram-negative bacteria. The patients at highest risk of serious infections include those with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML), and those undergoing myeloablative hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). This is a review with the main aim of making a critical appraisal of the literature, and summarising what is currently known and can be recommended. The most significant studies support the use of floroquinolones (mainly ciprofloxacin) as the most rational approach to treat pediatric patients with probably long-lasting neutropenia, although trimetoprim-sulphametoxazole and amoxicillin/clavulanate may theoretically be valid alternatives. No prophylaxis seems to be needed for children with cancer without severe neutropenia. However, a global evaluation of the studies of antibiotic prophylaxis in children with cancer indicates that there are not enough data to prepare definite guidelines for its use or avoidance in pediatric oncology, and so further studies are needed. It is not only important to define the best antibiotic regimens for the children in whom such prophylaxis is useful, but also to identify precisely those who do not need it. This would avoid the antibiotic misuse that probably occurs at the moment because many low-risk children with cancer are treated. As prophylaxis against infections requires long-term adherence to an antibiotic regimen, the attitudes and beliefs of stakeholders need to be fully considered.
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