Concern over Excess use of Antibiotics in US Hospitals

Concern over Excess use of Antibiotics in US Hospitals

A study authored by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has unveiled that hospitals in the US are spending money on unneeded antibiotics. The study published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology said that unnecessary antibiotic use has cost around $163 million in terms of extra spending by hospitals.

Overuse of antibiotics can prove taxing as it can lead to rise in the number of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. Also, excess antibiotic usage is an extra burden on the total cost of health care and its overuse can prove unhealthy for patients' health as well.

Lead researcher Leslie Schultz informed the overuse of antibiotics is a problem in many healthcare facilities. "Sometimes in an effort to 'do whatever it takes' to fight a serious infection, clinicians use multiple antibiotics to treat the same infection", affirmed Schultz. However, it is also important to understand that this kind of behaviour can pave the way to antimicrobial resistance.

Almost 70% of the unneeded treatment had three drug combinations. Metronidazole and piperacillin-tazobactam's usage is very common and is given in more than 50% of all the treatments. Researchers have suggested that doctors should be extra cautious while prescribing these specific treatments.

Hospitals can also play an important role as they can assist doctors in knowing whether the specific antibiotics are important enough. For the research, data from over 500 hospitals in the United States was assessed from 2008 to 2001.

Around 78% of hospitals were found to have indulged in the misuse of antibiotics. Arjun Srinivasan, a CDC official, said the best way would be completely put an end to duplicative antibiotic therapies. By this way, healthcare facilities will be able to protect their patients as well as save more healthcare money. As per researchers, it is the first national study to assess the issue in detail.

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