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Reducing antibiotic use on the neonatal unit by improving communication of blood culture results: a completed audit cycle
  1. M A Jardine,
  2. Y Kumar,
  3. S Kausalya,
  4. S Harigopal,
  5. J Wong,
  6. A Shivaram,
  7. T J Neal,
  8. C W Yoxall
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Yoxall, Liverpool Women’s Hospital, Crown Street, Liverpool L8 7SS, UK;

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It is common clinical practice to discontinue antibiotic treatment of asymptomatic babies if the blood cultures are negative at 48 hours.1–3 However, if blood culture results are only available during the normal working day, then antibiotic treatment of some babies may continue into the next working day. In our neonatal unit, blood culture results were routinely received from the microbiology laboratory via fax as a list every morning. Extra positive results would be telephoned through, if they became available, during the normal working day. Results could also be checked by the clinical staff telephoning the laboratory during “office hours”. This gave the potential for inadvertent prolongation of antibiotic courses for up to a …

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