Halloween has come and gone, but something frightening has been happening for quite a while: antimicrobial resistance.
You should be, and here's why: As more and more organisms stop responding to drugs and antibiotics, we could return to a time when simple infections were fatal.
But don't hide under the covers or lock yourself in a closet. That's not going to make anybody safe.
What will help is if you learn more about the health risks associated with antibiotic resistance as well as ways to improve how you prescribe antibiotics.
Luckily, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) annual U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week — Nov. 13-19 — is a great opportunity to educate yourself and your patients.
For example, here are a few guidelines and continuing education courses from CDC on prescribing antibiotics:
- Prescribe correctly: Prescribe the right antibiotic at the right dose for the right duration and at the right time.
- Educate: Talk to your patients about appropriate use.
- Test and reassess: Use diagnostic tests to identify bacterial infections. If you start antibiotics before a patient's full laboratory results are known, stop and reassess the prescribed therapy when clinical results are available.
- Embrace antibiotic stewardship: Improve antibiotic use in facilities through stewardship programs.
If you want to help educate your patients on why antibiotics should only be used when necessary, download a sample letter that you can post in your office from the CDC website.
Action, Nov. 1, 2017
October 31, 2017