Tag Archives: ER Physicians

Patient Safety Is Jeopardized by Unnecessary Antibiotics

Like any medication, antibiotics carry certain risks. While they are critical to treating a wide range of conditions, from strep throat and urinary tract infections to bacterial pneumonia and sepsis, these drugs also increase a patient’s chances of developing Clostridium difficile infections—which can result in life-threatening diarrhea—and can lead to adverse drug events, including allergic reactions.

Because of these dangers, it is important to use antibiotics only when needed. However, many antibiotics prescribed in the United States are unnecessary.

See what the research tells us and what leading antibiotic use experts say about inappropriate prescribing, the threat it poses to patient health, and how improved antibiotic stewardship can help to protect patient safety.

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Pediatricians

“For a long time, we believed that ‘erring on the safe side’ for our patients might be to prescribe an antibiotic just in case, even when we weren’t completely certain of the diagnosis. … Increasingly, we’re realizing that ‘being on the safe side’ often means not prescribing an antibiotic.”

Adam Hersh, M.D., University of Utah, Primary Children’s Hospital

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Emergency Room Doctors

“Acute bronchitis is one of the very common conditions we see in the emergency department and it’s also one … for which we have the best evidence that antibiotics should not be used, as these infections are typically caused by viruses and will resolve on their own. … I’ve seen … patients that received antibiotics for simple bronchitis or sinusitis that probably didn’t need the antibiotic, and then came in with life-threatening diarrheal illness, known as C. difficile infection.”

Larissa May, M.D., University of California, Davis

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Pharmacists

“I’ve had patients with antibiotic-associated adverse drug reactions … serious ones, such as Stevens-Johnson’s syndrome and [the] development of C. difficile.”

Katie Suda, Pharm.D., M.S., University of Illinois, Chicago

 

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Primary Care Physicians

“There’s a misperception on the part of doctors that patients want antibiotics. … [There] are millions of individual visits where we’re doing the wrong thing by our patients. We’re giving them medicines that they don’t need.”

Jeff Linder, M.D., M.P.H., Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School

 

One study estimated that a 30 percent reduction in broad-spectrum antibiotic use in hospitals could result in a 26 percent reduction in hospital-associated C. difficile infections.

Improving Outpatient Antibiotic Use: The Role of Nurse Practitioners

“What is concerning is a lot of people think every sore throat is strep throat, and they want antibiotics. The reality is that most sore throats are not strep throat. It is important that we make sure that we don’t give antibiotics just for a viral sore throat. … If we continue to prescribe antibiotics inappropriately … we will get to a point where children are not responding to antibiotics. And that’s very scary.”

Teri Woo, Ph.D., National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners

 

David Hyun, M.D., works on The Pew Charitable Trusts’ antibiotic resistance project.

 

To read the article in its entirety please click on the following link to be redirected:

https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/articles/2017/03/16/unnecessary-antibiotic-use-jeopardizes-patient-safety

Lab Testing Is Critical For Persistent Diarrhea To Accurately Diagnose and Treat

An accurate diagnosis via laboratory testing is critical for effectively treating persistent diarrhea lasting more than 2 weeks, as the often poorly recognized syndrome can be caused by different pathogens than acute diarrhea, according to a clinical review recently published in JAMA.

“I’d like to educate doctors about the importance of taking the history and assessing duration of illness,” Herbert L. DuPont, MD, Director of the Center for Infectious Diseases at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health, said in a press release. “For acute diarrhea, the lab has a minimal role, restricted to patients passing bloody stools. If a patient has had diarrhea for 2 weeks or more, the doctor should focus on the cause of the disease through laboratory testing, with an emphasis on parasites.”

DuPont performed a review of relevant literature published up to February 2016 to provide an overview of the epidemiology, etiology, diagnosis and management of persistent diarrhea in immunocompetent patients.

Common causes of persistent diarrhea

Although acute diarrhea is usually caused by viruses or toxins, persistent diarrhea is usually caused by bacteria or parasites, DuPont wrote.

Protozoa are the most common parasitic cause of persistent diarrhea, including Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Cyclospora, whereas Entamoeba histolytica, Cystoisospora belli, Dientamoeba fragilis, Strongyloides stercoralis and Microsporidia species are less common.

Bacterial species that may cause persistent diarrhea include enteroaggregative Escherichia coli, Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Arcobacter butzleri and Aeromonas species.

Clostridium difficile can cause recurrent diarrhea in patients receiving antibiotics in health care settings, and viral agents, such as norovirus, and helminths can also cause persistent diarrhea.

“Parasites are more common in the developing world. Consequently, persistent diarrhea is more common in these areas and in local populations or people traveling to these locations,” DuPont wrote. “Persistent diarrhea occurs in approximately 3% of international travelers to developing regions.” Parasitic infection is less common in industrialized regions, where foodborne and waterborne pathogens and C. difficile are more common causes, he added.

Persistent diarrhea can also have noninfectious causes, including lactase deficiency, ingested osmotic substances, postinfectious irritable bowel syndrome, functional bowel diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, celiac disease, ischemic or microscopic colitis, carbohydrate malabsorption, cancer and other idiopathic illnesses.

Complete evaluation, new diagnostic methods

Duration of illness should be determined by health care providers when developing an evaluation plan, and the clinical assessment of patients with persistent diarrhea lasting more than 14 days should include a complete history, physical examination and diagnostic testing for infectious or noninfectious etiologies.

“The longer the duration of illness, the more likely it is that parasitic pathogens or noninfectious causes will eventually be identified,” DuPont wrote.

Previously, bacterial pathogens were identified using stool culture-based methods, and parasites are often identified using commercial enzyme immunoassay tests or microscopy. However, the recent advent of multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) platforms enable simultaneous testing for a number of bacterial, viral and parasitic enteropathogens by identifying their DNA sequences.

The xTAG Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel (Luminex Corp) tests for 14 viruses, bacteria, and parasites and the FilmArray GI panel (Biofire Diagnostics) tests for 22 viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

“These new tests are easy to use, are capable of detecting a broad range of pathogens and represent a significant improvement over culture-based diagnostic approaches,” DuPont said in the press release. “The technology needs to be more widely available. Diagnosis is critical when treating persistent diarrhea.” However, false positive results are problematic, he wrote.

Treatment depends on diagnosis

After treating any dehydration with oral rehydration therapy, a laboratory test should be performed to determine the cause of persistent diarrhea to determine the appropriate treatment. However, a single 1,000 mg dose of empirical azithromycin is appropriate concurrent to the lab test for adults who have traveled to the developing world, as bacterial causes that lab tests cannot usually identify are common.

Although antimicrobial agents are recommended for a number of pathogens, the antibiotic choice should be optimized based on the pathogen’s susceptibility to prevent antimicrobial resistance.

TO READ THE ARTICLE IN ITS ENTIRETY CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW:

Sepsis – Number One Preventable Cause of Death Worldwide Discussed on C. diff. Spores and More With Guests Dr. Kissoon and Ray Schachter

 

Live Broadcast on Tuesday, April 5th

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Sepsis – Number One Preventable Cause of Death Worldwide

 

On Tuesday, April 5th our guests Dr. Niranjan “Tex” Kissoon and Sepsis Survivor Ray Schachter discussed Sepsis – Number One Preventable Cause of Death Worldwide. 

In this episode Tex Kissoon, MD,a well-known physician from Canada, provided us with the insight into the global phenomenon of Sepsis. Sepsis affects more than 30 million lives per year yet it is almost unknown to the general public and is quite often misdiagnosed by medical professionals worldwide. The reasons of why that is with the “why” Sepsis is so deadly, and what you can do to increase Sepsis awareness– were discussed in  60 minutes. Dr. Kissoon was joined by Ray Schachter, a Sepsis survivor who now dedicates all of his available time raising awareness of Sepsis worldwide. Both guests are members of the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA), which has established World Sepsis Day on September 13th every year to raise awareness for Sepsis worldwide.

About Our Guests:

Dr. Niranjan “Tex”  Kissoon, MD

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Dr. Kissoon is the Past President of the World Federation of Pediatric Critical and Intensive Care Societies, Vice-President, Medical Affairs at BC Children’s Hospital and Professor, Pediatric and Surgery (Emergency Medicine) Department of Pediatrics at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC as well as he holds the University of British Columbia BC Children’s Hospital (UBC BCCH) Endowed Chair in Acute and Critical Care for Global Child Health.   Dr. Kissoon is the vice chair of the Global Sepsis Alliance, co-chair of World Sepsis Day and the  International Pediatric Sepsis Initiative.).  He has been involved in both advocacy and in promoting Canada-wide involvement in World Sepsis Day as part of a global initiative. He is also involved in promoting sepsis guidelines such that appropriate treatments are given even in areas where there are limited resources.

Dr. Kissoon was awarded a Distinguished Career Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 2013 for his contribution to the society and discipline as well as the prestigious Society of Critical Care Medicine’s (SCCM) Master of Critical Care Medicine award in 2015 in recognition of his tireless efforts and achievements as a prominent and distinguished leader of national and international stature.  He was also awarded the BNS Walia PGIMER Golden Jubilee Oration 2015 Award for major contribution to Pediatrics in India from the Postgraduate Institute Medical Education and Research. 

A Direct Quote From Our Guest and Sepsis Survivor;  Ray Schachter:

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“I miraculously survived acute Sepsis in 1996 due to extensive medical intervention and have experienced the immediate and long-term consequences on me and my family.  I am the Chair of the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) Task Force whose goal is to have the UN mandate Sepsis as a World Health Day. Working with these very accomplished and committed people from GSA, many of whom are on the GSA Executive or Ambassadors, on this important project is a very special opportunity.”

About The Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA):
Sepsis is one of the most underestimated health risks. It affects more than 30 million people worldwide each year; for 6 to 8 million of them with a fatal outcome. Surviving patients often suffer for years from late complications.
This is all the more disturbing as sepsis incidence could be considerably reduced by some simple preventive measures such as vaccination and improved adherence to hygiene standards, early recognition and optimized treatment. The main danger of sepsis results from a lack of knowledge about it.
The founding members of the Global Sepsis Alliance (GSA) have recognized the need to elevate public, philanthropic and governmental awareness and understanding of sepsis and to accelerate collaboration among researchers, clinicians, associated working groups and those dedicated to supporting them. For this reason, they initiated the Global Sepsis Alliance in 2010. Together with supporting organizations from across the globe, we are united in one common goal:

The GSA  wants to ensure that:

  • The incidence of sepsis decreases globally by implementation of strategies to prevent sepsis.
  • Sepsis survival increases for children (including neonates) and adults in all countries through the promotion and adoption of early recognition systems and standardized emergency treatment
  • Public and professional understanding and awareness of sepsis improve
  • Access to appropriate rehabilitation services improve for all patients worldwide
  • The measurement of the global burden of sepsis and the impact of sepsis control and management interventions improve significantly

The GSA Current priorities:

  • Acknowledgement of a resolution on sepsis including official designation of World Sepsis Day (WSD) as one of the World Health Days by the World Health Assembly.
  • Recognition of sepsis in the Global Burden of Disease Report
  • Increase of public awareness and implementation of quality improvement initiatives

To learn more about the GSA please visit their websites:     http://global-sepsis-alliance.org

AND  World Sepsis Day:   http://www.world-sepsis-day.org

 

Our special thanks to GSA General Manager: Marvin Zick for his assistance in coordinating this important episode with the C. diff. Spores and More team.

 

C. diff. Spores and More,” Global Broadcasting Network – innovative and educational interactive healthcare talk radio program.

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