Publications & Reports

Early antimicrobial stewardship team intervention on appropriateness of antimicrobial therapy in suspected sepsis: a randomized controlled trial.

Rashidzada Z, Cairns KA, Peel TN, Jenney AW, Doyle JS, Dooley MJ, Cheng AC


Objectives: There has been concern that the imperative to administer rapid antimicrobials in septic patients may result in inappropriate antimicrobial use. We aimed to determine the impact of early antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) team intervention in patients with Medical Emergency Team (MET) calls for suspected sepsis.

Methods: We performed a randomized controlled trial of non-ICU inpatients who had a MET call for suspected sepsis. Patients were randomized to standard care (management of antimicrobial therapy by the treating team) or early targeted intervention (AMS review 48 h post-MET call). The primary outcome was appropriateness of antimicrobial therapy 72 h post-MET call, as determined by a panel of blinded infectious diseases physicians.

Results: In total, 90 patients were enrolled; 45 were randomly allocated to the intervention group, and 45 to the control group. More patients in the AMS intervention group were receiving appropriate antimicrobials 72 h following the MET call (67% versus 44%, P = 0.03). In the intervention group, 27 recommendations were made by the AMS team; 74% of recommendations were accepted, including 30% of cases where antimicrobials were discontinued or de-escalated. There were non-significant differences in total duration of antimicrobial therapy (8.7 versus 10.7 days, P = 0.39), sepsis-related ICU-admission rates (13% versus 18%, P = 0.56) and sepsis-related in-hospital mortality (7% versus 9%, P = 0.71) between intervention and control groups, respectively.

Conclusions: AMS team intervention resulted in significant improvement in appropriateness of antimicrobial therapy following MET calls due to suspected sepsis. Targeted AMS review should be implemented to support early antimicrobial de-escalation and optimization in patients with suspected sepsis.

Link to publisher’s web site


  • Journal: JAC Antimicrobial Resistance
  • Published: 27/08/2021
  • Volume: 3
  • Issue: 3
  • Pagination: dlab097