The overall aim of optimal antibiotic treatment is always to achieve the best possible outcome for the individual patient whilst at the same time minimising the risk of the negative effects of antibiotic use:
Antimicrobial resistance is a very real global issue and is becoming increasingly common with each passing year. The development of resistance is known to be driven by antibiotic consumption and it is therefore crucial that we use antibiotics as well as we possibly can in order to preserve their effectiveness.
As well as thinking about the patients we are treating today, we should also think about the patients we are going to be treating in the years to come.
Risk of healthcare associated infections such a Clostridium difficile and MRSA are known to be increased by antimicrobial use, in particular the excessive use of broad spectrum IV antibiotics like meropenem and 3rd generation cephalosporins. Healthcare associated infections are known to increase mortality, length of hospital stay and costs.
Antibiotic use consumes precious resources within the NHS. In a typical hospital, antibiotic use accounts for around 20% of drug spend. In addition, it is estimated that a dose of IV antibiotics takes an average of 10 minutes of nursing time to prepare and administer.
Click for more background on the threat of resistance