August 7, 2019

Donnelly Receives NIH LRP Award

John Donnelly's work on sepsis risk and antibiotics in VA facilities leads to loan repayment award.

Donnelly, a research investigator for DLHS, is working with the department's Anne Sales, PhD, RN, as well as Jack Iwashyna and Hallie Prescott from the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine on the research that earned him the NIH award.

He describes the work this way: "Intense national focus on early sepsis treatment may result in unintended consequences due to pressure on hospitals and emergency departments to administer antibiotics quickly and indiscriminately. We currently do not have sufficient data on how well providers balance the need to provide appropriate sepsis care with the goal of minimizing cumulative antibiotic exposure. Importantly, optimal outcomes could be achieved with either a restrictive approach to initial antibiotic use in the ED or liberal initial use coupled with de-escalation. Few prior studies have attempted to quantify antibiotic exposure for patients with suspected infection in the era of mandated sepsis care. Thus, in this proposal, we aim to use this framework to assess antibiotic use for patients with suspected infection at Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals and evaluate current practice patterns."

NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) support those pursuing research careers by helping to alleviate the financial pressures investigators face from student loan debt.