A Quality Improvement Initiative To Reduce Invasive Candidiasis In Extremely Low Birth Weight Neonates

Syed Muzaffar Saleem, Uswa Jiwani, Ali Shabbir Hussain, Manoj Kumar, Radhika Suresh Kumar, Shabina Ariff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the impact of a quality improvement (QI) initiative, which included a Fluconazole prophylaxis protocol and provider education on neonatal Candidiasis. Study Design: Retrospective longitudinal study. Place and Duration of Study: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Aga Khan University, Karachi Pakistan, from Apr 2015 to Dec 2019. Methodology: All extremely low birth weight neonates (ELBW) neonates admitted to the NICU between April 2015 and March 2017 were included in the pre-implementation phase. All ELBW neonates admitted between April 2017 and December 2019 were included in the post-implementation phase. Data were collected from medical records. The primary outcome was the frequency of Invasive Candidiasis (IC) before and after the QI initiative. Results: Altogether, 272 neonates were included in the study, with 115 neonates in the Pre-Implementation Group and 157 neonates in the Post-Implementation Group. The frequency of IC was 6(5.2%) in the pre-implementation and 1(0.6%) in the post-implementation period, (p=0.044). Candida parapsilosis 2(40%) and Candida glabrata 2(40%) were the organisms most commonly isolated from blood cultures. All organisms were sensitive to Fluconazole in both the pre-and post-implementation cohorts. There was no difference in mortality (54(50.5%) vs. 69(44.2%), p=0.32) or length of stay (19.6±13.3 vs. 23.4±18.4 days, p=0.061) before and after Fluconazole prophylaxis. Conclusion: The frequency of invasive Candidiasis in ELBW neonates was successfully reduced by introducing a Fluconazole prophylaxis protocol in the NICU as a QI initiative. A team-based approach and provider education ensured high compliance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
JournalPakistan Armed Forces Medical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024


  • Antifungal agents
  • Candidiasis
  • Infant
  • Intensive care units
  • Length of stay
  • Newborn
  • Very low birth weight


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