Do english NHS microbiology laboratories offer adequate services for the diagnosis of UTI in children? Healthcare quality improvement partnership (HQIP) audit of standard operational procedures

Cliodna McNulty*, Neville Verlander, Philippa C.L. Moore, James Larcombe, Jan Dudley, Jaydip Banerjee, Lyda Jadresic

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The National Institute of Care Excellence (NICE) 2007 guidance CG54, on urinary tract infection (UTI) in children, states that clinicians should use urgent microscopy and culture as the preferred method for diagnosing UTI in the hospital setting for severe illness in children under 3 years old and from the GP setting in children under 3 years old with intermediate risk of severe illness. NICE also recommends that all ‘infants and children with atypical UTI (including non-Escherichia coli infections) should have renal imaging after a first infection’. We surveyed all microbiology laboratories in England with Clinical Pathology Accreditation to determine standard operating procedures (SOPs) for urgent microscopy, culture and reporting of children’s urine and to ascertain whether the SOPs facilitate compliance with NICE guidance. We undertook a computer search in six microbiology laboratories in south-west England to determine urine submissions and urine reports in children under 3 years. Seventythree per cent of laboratories (110/150) participated. Enterobacteriaceae that were not E. coli were reported only as coliforms (rather than non-E. coli coliforms) by 61% (67/110) of laboratories. Eighty-eight per cent of laboratories (97/110) provided urgent microscopy for hospital and 54% for general practice (GP) paediatric urines; 61% of laboratories (confidence interval 52–70%) cultured 1 ml volume of urine, which equates to one colony if the bacterial load is 106 c.f.u. l21.Only 22% (24/110) of laboratories reported non-E. coli coliforms and provided urgent microscopy for both hospital and GP childhood urines; only three laboratories also cultured a 5 ml volume of urine. Only one of six laboratories in our submission audit had a significant increase in urine submissions and urines reported from children less than 3 years old between the predicted pre-2007 level in the absence of guidance and the 2008 level following publication of the NICE guidance. Less than a quarter of laboratories were providing a service that would allow clinicians to fully comply with the first line recommendations in the 2007 NICE UTI in children guidance. Laboratory urine submission report figures suggest that the guidance has not led to an increase in diagnosis of UTI in children under 3 years old.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1030-1039
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Medical Microbiology
Volume64
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 SGM.

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