US Children Facing More Serious Infections

Drug-resistant infections increased among children in US hospitals

(RxWiki News) Reports of serious, drug-resistant bacterial infections among children appear to be rising in the United States, a new study found.

The researchers behind this study looked at data from over 300 hospitals from 1999 to 2012, particularly from children between the ages of 1 and 17. They found that the number of drug-resistant infections caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa increased over a 13-year period. 

These infections can be dangerous, cause severe illness, increase the amount of time a child spends in the hospital and, ultimately, increase the risk of death. "Drug-resistant" means the bacteria can no longer be treated with certain antibiotics. 

In 1999, 15.4 percent of studied Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections were found to be resistant to three different types of antibiotics. By 2012, that number had risen to 26 percent.

Drug resistance was found to occur more often in the intensive care unit (ICU) in patients aged between the ages 13 and 17 and those living in Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and the Dakotas, these researchers found. 

Facing drug resistance, doctors are left with few treatment options. Most of the options they do have pose a risk of harmful side effects.

Speak with your child's pediatrician about how to help keep your child healthy.

This study was published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society.

The Global Antibiotic Resistance Partnership, the Health Grand Challenges Program at Princeton University, and a grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded this research.

The authors disclosed no conflicts of interest.