Antimicrobial prescribing in a secondary care setting during the COVID-19 pandemic

Michael M Tadros, Marian S Boshra, Michael Scott, Glenda Fleming, Fidelma Magee, Mohammad I Hamed, Ahmed Abuelhana, Aaron Courtenay, Heba F Salem, Kathryn Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Increased antimicrobial resistance patterns lead to limited options for antimicrobial agents, affecting patient health and increasing hospital costs.

Objectives: To investigate the antimicrobial prescribing patterns at two district hospitals in Northern Ireland before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A mixed prospective-retrospective study was designed to compare pre- and during pandemic antimicrobial prescribing data in both hospitals using a Global Point Prevalence Survey.

Results: Of the 591 patients surveyed in both hospitals, 43.8% were treated with 402 antimicrobials. A total of 82.8% of antimicrobial prescriptions were for empirical treatment. No significant difference existed in numbers of patients treated or antimicrobials used before and during the pandemic. There was a slight decrease of 3.3% in the compliance rate with hospital antimicrobial guidelines during the pandemic when compared with the pre-pandemic year of 2019, when it was 69.5%. Treatment based on patients’ biomarker data also slightly decreased from 83.5% pre-pandemic (2019) to 81.5% during the pandemic (2021).

Conclusions: There was no overall significant impact of the pandemic on the antimicrobial prescribing patterns in either hospital when compared with the pre-pandemic findings. The antimicrobial stewardship programmes would appear to have played an important role in controlling antimicrobial consumption during the pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalJAC-Antimicrobial Resistance
Issue number6
Early online date13 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished online - 13 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

This research was jointly funded by both Misr University for Science and Technology (6th October City, Egypt) and Ulster University (Coleraine, UK) through a joint research programme to support one researcher from Egypt to compete a MSc (Master’s degree in Clinical Pharmacy). Article processing charges (APC) was paid by Ulster University through Jisc affliated UK intitutions Open Access Agreement.


Dive into the research topics of 'Antimicrobial prescribing in a secondary care setting during the COVID-19 pandemic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this