Association of delayed adequate antimicrobial treatment and organ dysfunction in pediatric bloodstream infections Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Bloodstream infections (BSIs) are associated with significant mortality and morbidity, including multiple organ dysfunction. We explored if delayed adequate antimicrobial treatment for children with BSIs is associated with change in organ dysfunction as measured by PELOD-2 scores. METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, retrospective cohort study of critically ill children <18 years old with BSIs. The primary outcome was change in PELOD-2 score between days 1 (index blood culture) and 5. The exposure variable was delayed administration of adequate antimicrobial therapy by ≥3 h from blood culture collection. We compared PELOD-2 score changes between those who received early and delayed treatment. RESULTS: Among 202 children, the median (interquartile range) time to adequate antimicrobial therapy was 7 (0.8-20.1) hours; 124 (61%) received delayed antimicrobial therapy. Patients who received early and delayed treatment had similar baseline characteristics. There was no significant difference in PELOD-2 score changes from days 1 and 5 between groups (PELOD-2 score difference -0.07, 95% CI -0.92 to 0.79, p = 0.88). CONCLUSIONS: We did not find an association between delayed adequate antimicrobial therapy and PELOD-2 score changes between days 1 and 5 from detection of BSI. PELOD-2 score was not sensitive for clinical effects of delayed antimicrobial treatment. IMPACT: In critically ill children with bloodstream infections, there was no significant change in organ dysfunction as measured by PELOD-2 scores between patients who received adequate antimicrobial therapy within 3 h of their initial positive blood culture and those who started after 3 h. Higher PELOD-2 scores on day 1 were associated with larger differences in PELOD-2 scores between days 1 and 5 from index positive blood cultures. Further study is required to determine if PELOD-2 or alternative measures of organ dysfunction could be used as primary outcome measures in trials of antimicrobial interventions in pediatric critical care research.


  • Pong, Sandra
  • Fowler, Robert A
  • Fontela, Patricia
  • Gilfoyle, Elaine
  • Hutchison, James S
  • Jouvet, Philippe
  • Mitsakakis, Nicholas
  • Murthy, Srinivas
  • Pernica, Jeffrey
  • Rishu, Asgar H
  • Science, Michelle
  • Seto, Winnie
  • Daneman, Nick

publication date

  • February 2024