Predictors of wait-time for antibiotic initiation and association of wait-time with hospital length of stay and ICU admission among children with cancer at the Southern Philippines Medical Center


Background: Expedited antibiotic administration improves the survival of children with cancer and infection. A 1-hour antibiotic wait-time (AWT) post-hospital arrival is a quality-of-care benchmark in healthcare. However, multiple factors preclude achieving this goal in developing countries. Predictors of AWT and its association with hospital length of stay (LOS) and intensive care unit (ICU) admission at the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) were identified. Procedures: Health and socioeconomic characteristics of 55 children in 92 admissions who required antibiotics were reviewed; and SPMC care providers about institutional capacity and response to suspected infection were surveyed. Results: The mean total AWT was 3 days and 15hours. For admissions of established patients, mean total AWT and mean LOS were approximately half that for new patients. Admissions from high-income households waited an average 44% less for antibiotics and were discharged 43% sooner than those from medium-income households. Admissions from residence owner families waited 31% less to receive antibiotics, and total AWT for admissions of patients with no insurance was 32% less than for those with insurance. The likelihood of ICU admission increased 20% with every 1-day increase in total AWT (95% CI: 1.02 1.42). Only 59% of nurses recognized fever as an emergency. Conclusions: AWT is complex and multifactorial; it may be reduced by educating parents and care providers about infection and infection control and improving the availability of antibiotics and associated supplies. These interventions will most likely reduce ICU admissions and possibly LOS and increase the survival of pediatric oncology patients at SPMC. Pediatr Blood Cancer 2014;61:680-686. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Publication Title

Pediatric Blood and Cancer