Friday, September 21, 2018

Addressing the Issue of Antibiotic Resistance

Zachary Lutsky, MD, graduated at the top of his class at RFU/Chicago Medical School before going on to become an accomplished emergency physician, including at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where he served for more than a decade. Throughout his career, Dr. Zachary Lutsky has had an interest in topics such as antibiotic resistance.

Posing a significant risk to public health, antibiotic resistance arises primarily from an overprescription of antibiotics. As urgent care centers across the country prescribe antibiotics for the common cold and other viral ailments unaffected by antibiotics, patients become at risk for gut issues and allergic reactions.

The Journal of the American Medical Association recently published a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating that 30 percent or more of antibiotic prescriptions are gratuitous. This overprescription may lead to a loss of antibiotic effectiveness.

To combat this problem, the White House issued The National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in 2015, setting a goal for decreasing overprescription by half within five years. Some groups have tackled the issue by providing lists of non-antibiotic alternative prescriptions and requiring that the reason for prescribing an antibiotic be indicated in patients’ electronic health record.

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