There are no reliable data on antibiotic use in Kosovo hospitals. The aim of this survey was to monitor volumes and patterns of antibiotic use in hospitalised patients in order to identify targets for quality improvement.
Data on antimicrobial use were collected from seven hospitals in Kosovo during 2013 using the standardised point prevalence survey (PPS) methodology as developed by the ESAC (European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption) and ARPEC (Antibiotic Resistance and Prescribing in European Children). The survey included all inpatients receiving an antimicrobial agent on the day of the PPS.
Overall, 1667 patients were included in the study: adults 1345 (81%) and children 322 (19%). Of the hospital inpatients, 579/1345 (43%) adults and 188/322 (58%) children received at least one antibiotic during a hospital stay. The top three antibacterial subgroups (ATC level 3) were β-lactam antibiotics, cephalosporins and aminoglycosides. In all hospital centres, the most commonly prescribed antibiotic was ceftriaxone (39% for adult and 36% for children). Antibiotics were administered mainly parenterally in 74% of adults and 94% of children. Empirical prescribing was higher in adults 498/579 (86%) and children 181/188 (96%), compared with targeted treatment based on susceptibility testing—81 (14%) and 8 (4%), respectively.
Antibiotic use in Kosovo’s hospitals is very high. Gathered data will be an important tool to identify targets for quality improvement and will support preparation of guidelines and protocols for the prudent use of antibiotics.