Management of children with fever and neutropenia: results of a survey in 51 pediatric cancer centers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

Max Scheler, Thomas Lehrnbecher, Andreas H Groll, Ruth Volland, Hans-Jürgen Laws, Roland A Ammann, Philipp Agyeman, Andishe Attarbaschi, Margaux Lux, Arne Simon
Infection 2020, 48 (4): 607-618

PURPOSE: Investigation of the current practice of diagnostics and treatment in pediatric cancer patients with febrile neutropenia.

METHODS: On behalf of the German Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology and the German Society for Pediatric Infectious Diseases, an Internet-based survey was conducted in 2016 concerning the management of febrile neutropenia in pediatric oncology centers (POC). This survey accompanied the release of the corresponding German guideline to document current practice before its implementation in clinical practice.

RESULTS: In total, 51 POCs participated (response rate 73%; 43 from Germany, and 4 each from Austria and Switzerland). Identified targets for antimicrobial stewardship concerned blood culture diagnostics, documentation of the time to antibiotics, the use of empirical combination therapy, drug monitoring of aminoglycosides, the time to escalation in patients with persisting fever, minimal duration of IV treatment, sequential oral treatment in patients with persisting neutropenia, indication for and choice of empirical antifungal treatment, and the local availability of a pediatric infectious diseases consultation service.

CONCLUSION: This survey provides useful information for local antibiotic stewardship teams to improve the current practice referring to the corresponding national and international guidelines.

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