Preterm infant have a higher mortality risk than mature babies. The most common cause of neonatal death is preterm birth. Since antibiotics are most common prescribed medication for infants in neonatal intensive care unit, Preterm infants if they suspected to have an infection often receive an empirical antibiotics treatment during first few days of life despite of the low incidence of early onset sepsis. The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics have serious unintentional events in premature infants including drugs resistance and invasive fungal infections.
Methodology: A hospital-based retrospective descriptive study was conduct at Maternity and Children hospital in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. On the period from April 2016 up August 2016 collecting data from all neonate and excluding outpatients, emergency patients and patients with AIDS.
Results: Sixty cases of infants were included, 60% were male, 40% were female, and Most of preterm were on more than four medications in 41.7% and 87% of neonates prescribed two or more antibiotics.
Beta lactams antibiotics were the most commonly prescribed in 91.7% specifically 3ed generation penicillin 48.3%, beta-lactams and aminoglycoside as common combination used in more than half of neonates.
Conclusion and Recommendations: Our study shows alarming rate in the use of broad spectrum antibiotics, which would predispose to serious unintentional events. Our recommendation to stop the use of prophylaxis in preterm neonates.