Antibiotic use in newborns with transient tachypnea of the newborn

Andrea S Weintraub, Claudia T Cadet, Roxane Perez, Elissa DeLorenzo, Ian R Holzman, Annemarie Stroustrup
Neonatology 2013, 103 (3): 235-40

BACKGROUND: Initiation of empiric antibiotic treatment for possible early-onset sepsis is recommended for late preterm and term neonates with respiratory distress. There is no evidence base to this approach.

OBJECTIVES: To determine the incidence of adverse infectious events in neonates with transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN) managed with a risk-factor-based restrictive antibiotic use policy.

METHODS: This is a single institution retrospective cohort study of neonates with primary diagnosis of TTN between 2004 and 2010. The relationship between antibiotic exposure and infectious outcomes during the neonatal hospitalization was evaluated. An infectious outcome was defined as pneumonia, bacteremia, clinical sepsis, or death. Analysis included t test, χ(2) test, and analysis of variance as appropriate.

RESULTS: 745 neonates with TTN met inclusion criteria. None of the 494 antibiotic-naive infants, and 212 of the 251 antibiotic-exposed infants had identifiable risk factors for sepsis. No infectious outcomes occurred in infants who did not receive antibiotics. Eight neonates with TTN received full antibiotic treatment for early-onset sepsis. Each was appropriately identified for early receipt of antibiotics based on historical or clinical risk factors for early-onset sepsis.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that empiric postnatal antibiotic treatment may not be warranted for late preterm and term infants with TTN in the absence of specific infectious risk factors.

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