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Decreasing the Time to Administration of First Dose of Antibiotics in Children With Severe Sepsis

Mittal, Yash; Sankar, Jhuma; Dhochak, Nitin; Gupta, Samriti; Lodha, Rakesh; Kabra, Sushil Kumar

The Journal for Healthcare Quality (JHQ): January/February 2019 - Volume 41 - Issue 1 - p 32–38
doi: 10.1097/JHQ.0000000000000141
Original Article

Objectives: To measure difference in median time to antibiotic administration in severe sepsis before and after making process changes and clinical outcomes such as duration of hospitalization and mortality.

Methods: The study was carried out in the emergency department in children <17 years of age with severe sepsis/septic shock. In phase 1, data were collected and reasons for delayed antibiotic administration were identified. Following this, process changes like creating a triage tool, re-enforcing the severe sepsis protocol and increasing the number of nurses were made to correct the delay. In phase 2, we measured outcomes to compare the effect of the process changes.

Results: A total of 28 and 13 children each were included during phase 1 and phase 2 of the study respectively. The median interquartile range time to administration of antibiotics from the time of admission decreased significantly from 50 minutes (18, 65) to 20 minutes (15, 20) (p = .02). Duration of hospital stay was longer in phase 1 as compared to phase 2 (12 days vs. 6 days). However, the difference was not statistically significant (p = .1).

Conclusions: Use of a triage tool, severe sepsis protocol, and increasing the number of nurses resulted in earlier recognition and administration of first dose of antibiotics in children with severe sepsis.

For more information on this article, contact Jhuma Sankar at

Funders: ICMR, Short Term Student Scholarship 2016.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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© 2019 National Association for Healthcare Quality
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