Background and importance Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the primary cause of lower respiratory tract infections in children <2 years old. RSV infection can lead to morbidity and mortality in these children and result in hospitalisation, admission to the intensive care unit, need for intensive medical treatments and death. Palivizumab has been found to be effectiveness in reducing hospitalisation and preventing serious lower respiratory tract infections in high risk infants.
Aim and objectives The objective of the study was to determinate the effectiveness of prophylaxis with palivizumab administration on hospitalisation rates for RSV and respiratory tract infections without RSV.
Material and methods This was a retrospective, descriptive study from October 2012 to February 2019. Patients with palivizumab administration were included. The data collected were administrations of palivizumab per patient, administration dates, admitted patients for respiratory infection, date of admissions per patient, positive RSV cultures in admitted patients and need for oxygen therapy. The severity of the admission was assessed according to the need for oxygen therapy.
Results A total of 125 patients were included, with an average age of 2.84 months at the start of treatment and a mean of five administrations. Twenty-four patients (19.2%) were admitted for a respiratory cause of whom 7 (29.17%) had more than one admission. In the admitted patients, 5 (20.83%) had positive cultures for RSV. In these patients, median administrations was 5 (IQR 3–5) and median time from last administration to positive culture was 290 days (IQR 276–300). From the total patients admitted, 20 (83.33%) needed oxygen therapy but only 5 patients (25%) required oxygen at high flow. No deaths were recorded.
Conclusion and relevance Admissions for respiratory infections were low in children with palivizumab administration. Furthermore, a small percentage of these admissions had positive cultures for RSV, which confirms the effectiveness of palivizumab. Most patients admitted for respiratory causes needed oxygen therapy.
References and/or acknowledgements No conflict of interest.
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