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Are Hospitals Over-Using Antibiotics?


Posted on Mar 06, 2014

The over-use of antibiotics has become a serious issue. When antibiotics are overused, patients can become resistant to them and then their conditions become more difficult to treat. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now issuing strong warnings to hospitals to prevent over usage.

Fox news reports on the over usage of antibiotics in hospitals. 

Fox reports, “According to a CDC “Vital Signs” report released this afternoon, poor antibiotic prescribing practices put hospital patients at increased risk for drug-resistant infections, as well as Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), a potentially deadly form of diarrhea. The report found that doctors at some hospitals prescribed three times as many antibiotics as doctors at other hospitals to treat similar patients. And researchers found that in roughly one-third of cases, hospital prescriptions to treat urinary tract infections and prescriptions for the common drug vancomycin were given for too long, or without proper evaluation of the patient.”

One physician from NYU medical center told Fox, “Doctors are handing out antibiotics like they’re candy because they’re practicing defensive medicine. They think, ‘Maybe there’s a 1 percent chance that this is bacteria and I don’t want to miss that.’ You know, it is a knee jerk. It is also patient pressure. And it is also doctors not being properly informed. This has got to stop.”

Some bacteria is actually good for human immune systems, which is another reason why experts are saying to stop giving antibiotics haphazardly.

The CDC reports, “While antibiotics are considered “miracle drugs” for their ability to kill a wide range of harmful bacteria, they also pose risks to beneficial bacteria. Although Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is one of many types of naturally occurring bacteria in the colon, it can overgrow and produce toxins when antibiotics kill off competing bacteria. The CDC report estimates that if hospitals reduced their use of antibiotics most often associated with C. diff infections (CDI) by 30 percent, they could reduce cases of this illness by 26 percent. Currently, CDI is responsible for at least 250,000 infections and 14,000 deaths in hospital patients each year.”

 

 

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Gerry Oginski
NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer