When quality improvement fails

In this weeks’ PhD journal club Darren Troeman discussed the paper “Effect of a multifaceted educational intervention for anti-infectious measures on sepsis mortality: a cluster randomized trial”.  The plan was to improve compliance with guidelines, thereby reducing time before start of antimicrobial therapy (AT) which should reduce 28-day mortality. The intervention was compared to conventional medical education. Disappointingly, the trial provided more lessons for trialists than for healthcare providers. Continue reading


How to predict ESBL (part 4)

Two months ago I provided an update on the ESBL-predict study that Tim Deelen from our group coordinates. In short: Every hospital in the world can participate, through a user-friendly electronic CRF (in a secured environment), in the validation of 2 scoring systems to predict that sepsis is caused by ESBL-producing bacteria. Only relevant for those of us that are not yet ready to start meropenem/amikacine for every patient that starts with antibiotics! This tool may help, …. if reliable. We passed the 3,000 episodes! Here is a short update and info for those that want to join. Continue reading

Inferior but not non-inferior: How a Data Safety Board can kill a study

The old dogma to “always complete your antibiotic course” has been challenged recently, see BMJ and previous blogs. Is it safe to tell patients to stop whenever they feel better? Purely by coincidence this paper appeared, and was discussed in our PhD’s Journal Club. The paper’s title was Individualizing duration of antibiotic therapy in community-acquired pneumonia (CAP), and the students were surprised by the final result, reports Valentijn Schweitzer. Continue reading

Dead bacteria cannot mutate

As a young and angry PhD student I was confronted with the concept of Selective Digestive Decontamination (SDD). That was in the early nineties (previous millennium). Coming from the field of microbiology I expected that SDD would increase antibiotic resistance. It were intensivists that told me not to worry: “antibiotics in SDD kill bacteria and dead bacteria cannot mutate”. They may have been right, suggests a new study. Continue reading

On the effects of antibiotic stewardship: I met a analysis

Yet another meta-analysis telling us that we are doing something very valuable: antibiotic stewardship (AS). Nobody wants to (or should) question that good AS is important for our patients, just as hand hygiene, being sober when working and following the latest professional developments. How nice would it be if we could reliably quantify the effects of our good practice. One study is no study (say those that usually don’t perform studies), so the meta-analysis was invented. But what is told by a meta-analysis? Continue reading

Effective stewardship: less antibiotic use and more hand hygiene

Rossana Rosa (bio below) writes a guest post, reflecting on this recent review and meta-analysis on the effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes…

The first reports on the effects of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmess date back to the mid-90s, and the interest in them has taken off in the past decade.

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The antibiotic course has had its day? (part 2)

British colleagues found no scientific evidence for “completing your course of antibiotics”. Nothing new, but in the absence of competing news (the White House has become a daily soap) they opened Pandoras’ box for the lay press, with patients being recommended to stop their antibiotics, whenever they want. The birth of yet another inconvenient truth, as we cannot translate our knowledge into daily medical practice, and patients get even more confused. The good news: a new research agenda. Continue reading