Database reviews of the findings in bacteriological specimens from a period of six years from patients in a department of haematology are employed as a model of how cumulative data about the microorganisms isolated may be employed for surveillance of accumulated infections and in the organization of the antibiotic policy of a department. During the period of observation, the standard treatment with antibiotics for febrile episodes in granulocytopenic patients was altered to piperacillin and netilimicin on the basis of the frequent occurrence of Gram-negative rods including Pseudomonas aeruginosa in blood cultures. It is concluded that accumulated microbiological data is of value for a clinical department and that analysis of the data does not constitute an increased work-load provided that the microbiological reports are routinely registered in a database.
20% of the normal population are nasal carriers of Staphylococcus aureus (Sa), and the carrier rate is even higher in insulin dependent diabetics, intravenous drug addicts, patients on haemo- and peritoneal dialysis, and HIV infected patients. Nasal Sa carriers have an increased risk of Sa infections following invasive therapy. Mupirocin, a novel topical antibiotic, is highly effective against nasal Sa. A number of studies indicate that it may reduce the incidence of Sa infections in dialysis patients, however experience with other categories of patients is sparse. Surgical wound infection with Sa is a particularly serious complication after implantation of foreign body material, e.g. artificial joints. There is a need for controlled clinical trials to test the efficacy of mupirocin in eradicating Sa in these types of patients. Uncritical use of mupirocin for topical treatment of wounds should be avoided in order to prevent development of resistance.
Previous investigations have demonstrated that considerable problems may exist in the diagnosis of purulent meningitis (PM) in general practice. Referrals from general practitioners/duty roster doctors concerning 97 children discharged the diagnosis of PM were reviewed retrospectively. The patients were subdivided into two groups according to whether the diagnosis was established by the referring doctor or not. Only 35% of the children under one year were admitted for suspected PM, whereas 65% of the children between one year and 15 year were hospitalized with the correct diagnosis. The commonest positive findings in both age groups were alterations in consciousness which were found in more than 80% of the children. Children in whom the diagnosis was not established by the referring doctor had fewer classical signs of meningitis (neck-stiffness, Kernig's sign, bulging fontanelle and petecchia) than children in whom the diagnosis was established. Children with negative cultures from the cerebro-spinal fluid were significantly more frequently treated with antibiotics prior to hospitalization. Approximately half of the children admitted with suspected meningitis were not treated according the guidelines issued by the Danish Board of Health, without this having any effect on the survival rate.
Sinusitis is associated with overuse of antibiotics. The aim of this study was to determine whether GPs who use the CRP rapid test (CRP) have a lower antibiotic prescribing rate for sinusitis. During a three-week period, a group of GPs registered all patients with respiratory tract infections (n = 17,792). GPs using CRP prescribed antibiotics for 59% and GPs not using CRP prescribed antibiotics for 78% of the patients with sinusitis. CRP was the factor exerting the greatest influence on the prescribing of antibiotics. Implementing CRP in general practice may lead to a reduction in antibiotic prescribing to patients with sinusitis.