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Unnecessary antibiotics prescribed to children in the Emergency Departments in the US

Antibiotics are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the Emergency Department (ED). According to a new study, in the US children receive more than 2 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions a year in the emergency departments. Most emergency visits by children occur at nonpediatric emergency departments. Overall 32% of antibiotic prescriptions given at for children at the ED were for illnesses for which antibiotics are generally not indicated, such as bronchitis. 44% of these prescriptions were for broad-spectrum antibiotics. The Researchers from the University of Washington in Seattle used the data from 2009 to 2014 from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey to conduct this retrospective study involving patients aged 0 to 17 years discharged from emergency departments. Inappropriate prescription of antibiotics can lead to unnecessary adverse events, treatment failure and antimicrobial resistance. There is a pressing need to develop ED-based antibiotic stewardship initiatives that could be implemented in all emergency settings.
Watch also Dr. Ville Peltola’s interview on the website, where he discusses about antimicrobial resistance among pediatric patients and what is the pediatrician’s role in preventing and curtailing antimicrobial resistance.
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