• Reducing Antibiotic Use Protects Everyone

Published on September 16, 2015

Reducing Antibiotic Use Protects EveryoneAntibiotics Medications Pills

The over-use and misuse of antibiotics for many types of conditions - ranging from common colds to pre-surgery preparation - has created a dangerous patient safety and public health issue, according to infectious disease experts.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that up to 50 percent of all antibiotics prescribed are either unnecessary or not effective for their infection.

Several kinds of bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics because of overuse and have morphed into “superbugs” which are very difficult to treat and can cause great harm.

To fight against antibiotic misuse, the Cottage Health Antimicrobial (Antibiotic) Stewardship Program was created. Led by infectious disease experts Dr. David Fisk and Dr. Alan Sugar, the team — which includes clinical pharmacy specialists — promotes the appropriate use of antibiotics at Cottage Health and throughout Santa Barbara County.

Overall antibiotic use per patient at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital has decreased by 9 percent since the program was put into place in August 2012. And the use of “last resort” antibiotics specifically targeted by the program is down by 50 percent.

In the community, the Antibiotic Stewardship team is partnering with physicians to help them properly choose and administer the appropriate antibiotics for their patients.

For more information visit the CDC's Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work program website.

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