July 21, 2017 – Working Together


Anchor lead: How can more appropriate antibiotic use be implemented? Elizabeth Tracey reports

One in five hospitalized adults who received antibiotics experienced an adverse event related to their use, a recent study of nearly 1500 inpatients by Pranita Tamma, an antibiotic use expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, has shown. Tamma says the study clearly points to the need for clinicians to carefully assess the risk/benefit ratio when deciding antibiotics are indicated.

Tamma: The first message we need to understand is for both patients and for clinicians we need to all be on the same page, antibiotics are important, they’re great when they’re necessary, but they’re not benign.  There is harm associated with them. On the patient side, we need to do a good job of educating patients and family members that if the physician feels comfortable that the likelihood of a bacterial infection is low they’re really weighing the risks and benefits making this decision and they’re really looking out for your best interests.  :30

Tamma says many people have become accustomed to the idea that there aren’t any harms associated with antibiotic use, but her study shows that’s not the case. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.