There is an increasing focus on researching children admitted to hospital with new variants of COVID-19, combined with concerns with hyperinflammatory syndromes and the overuse of antimicrobials. Paediatric guidelines have been produced in Bangladesh to improve their care. Consequently, the objective is to document the management of children with COVID-19 among 24 hospitals in Bangladesh. Key outcome measures included the percentage prescribed different antimicrobials, adherence to paediatric guidelines and mortality rates using purposely developed report forms. The majority of 146 admitted children were aged 5 years or under (62.3%) and were boys (58.9%). Reasons for admission included fever, respiratory distress and coughing; 86.3% were prescribed antibiotics, typically parenterally, on the WHO ‘Watch’ list, and empirically (98.4%). There were no differences in antibiotic use whether hospitals followed paediatric guidance or not. There was no prescribing of antimalarials and limited prescribing of antivirals (5.5% of children) and antiparasitic medicines (0.7%). The majority of children (92.5%) made a full recovery. It was encouraging to see the low hospitalisation rates and limited use of antimalarials, antivirals and antiparasitic medicines. However, the high empiric use of antibiotics, alongside limited switching to oral formulations, is a concern that can be addressed by instigating the appropriate programmes.
- Antimicrobial stewardship programs