Report: Overuse of antibiotics puts patients at risk

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

March 19, 2014

A new report from the CDC confirms what has been suspected for some time – overuse of antibiotics in hospitals puts patients at risk and helps encourage the spread of “superbugs” that can cause deadly infections.
 
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, prescribing practicesvary among U.S. hospitals, with some hospitals prescribing three times as many antibiotics as others in some cases. While antibiotics can help fight infections, heavy use of them when not needed can kill off good bacteria and can help the growth of infections such as MRSA and C. difficile.
 
Cutting back antibiotics use by 30% would reduce the number of infections with C. difficile by 26%, the report estimated. About 250,000 hospitalized patients per year develop C. difficile infections, which can lead to sepsis and death, the Journal reported.