Antimicrobial stewardship in the NICU

Joseph B. Cantey, Sameer J. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


There are unique challenges to antimicrobial stewardship in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). Diagnosis of infection is difficult as neonates can have nonspecific signs and symptoms. Between and within NICUs, significant variation exists in the treatment duration of suspected sepsis and pneumonia. Development of multidisciplinary teams and meaningful metrics are essential for sustainable antibiotic stewardship. Potential stewardship interventions include optimizing culturing techniques, guiding empiric therapy by NICU-specific antibiograms, using ancillary laboratory tests, and promptly discontinuing therapy once infection is no longer suspected. Use of large neonatal databases can be used to benchmark antibiotic use and conduct comparative effectiveness research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages15
JournalInfectious disease clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Antimicrobial
  • Metrics
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Stewardship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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