Inappropriate use of antibiotics in ERs remains high for adults

Inappropriate use of antibiotics in ERs remains high for adults

(HealthDay)—For patients presenting to the emergency department with acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI), inappropriate utilization of antibiotics has decreased for children, but not for adults, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

John P. Donnelly, M.S.P.H., from University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues conducted a retrospective study involving patients presenting to emergency departments with ARTIs from 2001 to 2010 identified from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey. Diagnoses of otitis media, sinusitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, and nonviral pneumonia were designated as antibiotic appropriate; while nasopharyngitis, unspecified upper , bronchitis or bronchiolitis, , and influenza were considered antibiotic inappropriate.

The researchers found that antibiotics were prescribed in 61 percent of the 126 million visits for ARTI. From 2001 to 2010, there was a decrease in antibiotic utilization among patients aged <5 years presenting with antibiotic-inappropriate ARTI (rate ratio [RR], 0.94; confidence interval [CI], 0.88 to 1.00) and among patients aged 5 to 19 years (RR, 0.89; CI, 0.85 to 0.94). Among adult patients aged 20 to 64 years, utilization remained stable for antibiotic-inappropriate ARTI (RR, 0.99; CI, 0.97 to 1.01).

"Although significant progress has been made toward reduction of antibiotic utilization for pediatric patients with ARTI, the proportion of adult ARTI patients receiving antibiotics in U.S. emergency departments is inappropriately high," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Black children less likely to be prescribed antibiotics

Mar 18, 2013

(HealthDay)—Black children are less likely to be prescribed antibiotics and to be diagnosed with conditions that require antibiotics, even when treated by the same doctor, according to research published ...

Peds bronchiolitis guideline can cut resource use, costs

Dec 11, 2013

(HealthDay)—Implementation of a bronchiolitis guideline can reduce unnecessary resource utilization and reduce costs in a pediatric emergency department setting, according to research published online Dec. ...

Recommended for you

Seniors successfully withdraw from meds

Sep 19, 2014

Elderly people have proved receptive to being de-prescribed medications, as part of a trial aimed at assessing the feasibility of withdrawal of medications among older people.

Flu vaccine for expectant moms a top priority

Sep 18, 2014

Only about half of all pregnant women in the U.S. get a flu shot each season, leaving thousands of moms-to-be and their babies at increased risk of serious illness.

Experts want restrictions on testosterone drug use (Update)

Sep 17, 2014

Federal health experts said Wednesday there is little evidence that testosterone-boosting drugs are effective for treating common signs of aging in men and that their use should be narrowed to exclude millions of Americans ...

User comments