Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Doctor 'chagrin' among reasons why antibiotics may be overused at hospitals

Date:
March 4, 2014
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
As a new CDC report shows potential harmful overuse of antibiotic prescriptions in hospitals, commentary sheds light on why too many may be doled out. Overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of bacterial resistance and puts patients at risk for serious infections such as severe diarrheal infection due to Clostridium difficile. "In medicine, there's a tendency to think there's no harm in erring on the side of caution -- but in this case, it may sometimes put patients at risk," says the lead author.

One reason doctors may prescribe antibiotics more often than necessary is because they want to avoid withholding a prescription from a hospitalized patient ultimately found to have a bacterial infection, University of Michigan doctors say in a new commentary.

The article, which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine, coincides with a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tuesday highlighting concerns over an overuse of antibiotics. The CDC called on hospitals to evaluate their antibiotic practices in light of the findings that showed clinicians in some hospitals prescribe as many as three times more antibiotics than others. The report is available online at: http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/antibiotic-prescribing-practices/

Overuse of antibiotics leads to the development of bacterial resistance and puts patients at risk for serious infections such as severe diarrheal infection due to Clostridium difficile (C Diff).

"In medicine, there's a tendency to think there's no harm in erring on the side of caution -- but in this case, it may sometimes put patients at risk," says lead author Scott Flanders, M.D., M.H.M, professor of internal medicine and director of hospital medicine at the U-M Medical School.

"Antibiotics, while incredibly beneficial, are unique because they also have the potential to harm other patients through the spread of C.diff and the development of bacteria resistance."

Flanders co-authored the JAMA paper with Sanjay Saint, M.D., M.P.H., the University of Michigan's George Dock professor of internal medicine and the associate chief of medicine at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. The article is titled "Why does antimicrobial overuse in hospitalized patients persist?"

"When it's not clear whether a patient actually has an infection and treatment decisions are based on an educated guess, no one wants to discover days later that they guessed wrong. We call this the 'chagrin factor,'" says Saint. "U.S. physicians tend to place the interests of their patients above the broader interests of society. We need to provide physicians with strategies that are viewed as both benefiting the patient and society."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Scott A. Flanders, Sanjay Saint. Enhancing the Safety of Hospitalized Patients: Who Is Minding the Antimicrobials? Archives of Internal Medicine, 2012; 172 (1): 38 DOI: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.595

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Doctor 'chagrin' among reasons why antibiotics may be overused at hospitals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304141639.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2014, March 4). Doctor 'chagrin' among reasons why antibiotics may be overused at hospitals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304141639.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Doctor 'chagrin' among reasons why antibiotics may be overused at hospitals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140304141639.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Freetown a City on Edge

AFP (Aug. 19, 2014) Residents of Sierra Leone's capital voice their fears as the Ebola virus sweeps through west Africa. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

101-Year-Old Working Man Has All The Advice You Need

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) Herman Goldman has worked at the same lighting store for almost 75 years. Find out his secrets to a happy, productive life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins