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CDC and AVH Fight Antibiotic Resistance

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“Get Smart About Antibiotics Week” is November 14-20

Antelope Valley Hospital (AVH) is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with a league of national and international partners, in observance of the ninth annual Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, November 14-20. Antibiotic use is the single most important contributing factor to antibiotic resistance, and up to one-half of antibiotic use in humans is either unnecessary or inappropriate.

“Antibiotic resistance occurs when bacteria change in a way that reduces the effectiveness of antibiotics and poses one of the most pressing public health threats,” said Jill Bennett, Pharm.D., BCPS, clinical coordinator, department of pharmacy at AVH. “To combat antibiotic resistance and avoid adverse drug reactions, we have to use antibiotics appropriately.”

Each year in the United States, 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions are written in doctors’ offices, emergency rooms, and hospital-based clinics, which makes improving antibiotic prescribing and use a national priority. This means using antibiotics only when needed and, if needed, using them correctly.

Antelope Valley Hospital and other CDC participants are working to raise awareness in their communities about the threat of antibiotic resistance and emphasize the importance of appropriate antibiotic use across all healthcare settings. As part of this effort, the AVH pharmacy department has begun distributing brochures and flyers to hospital employees and will be sending letters to both community and hospital physicians with educational material that promotes appropriate antibiotic use. During Get Smart About Antibiotics Week, educational posters will be placed in designated areas for hospital physicians; and community education posters will be placed in shared public areas throughout the hospital. Educational material will also be distributed at the local nursing homes to promote appropriate use of antibiotics.

“Antibiotics are critical adjuncts to modern medicine and make it possible to perform surgery and provide medical treatment for a variety of serious illnesses,” said Dr. Lauri Hicks, director for CDC’s Office of Antibiotic Stewardship. “Alarmingly we are facing the
end of the antibiotic era because antibiotics are being inappropriately prescribed and used, which contributes to antibiotic resistance. That's why it is crucial that antibiotics are used only when absolutely necessary, and when they are needed the correct antibiotic must be prescribed in a timely manner at the right dose and duration.”

For additional information about Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work, please visit www.cdc.gov/getsmart