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by APIC category: Health
Did you know that 30-50 percent of antimicrobial use in hospitals is unnecessary or inappropriate? Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria change in a way that reduces or eliminates the effectiveness of antibiotics. As a result, stronger, more expensive antibiotics are needed to overcome the same bacteria. People who develop antibiotic-resistant infections are more likely to need hospitalization and are at increased risk for death.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. A growing list of infections are becoming harder to treat as antibiotics become less effective. The World Health Organization has delcared antibiotic resistance one of the biggest global health treats facing the world today.
It is critical that healthcare professionals across the continuum preserve antibiotics for the future. Additionally, patients and families can help prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance. Know when antibiotics work—and when they don’t. Antibiotics work for bacterial infections, but they don’t help cure a viral infection. That means antibiotics will not help reduce symptoms caused by the common cold or the flu. Antibiotics are also often unnecessary for sore throats, sinus infections, and most ear infections.
How to show your support
For more information about how to stay safe from infection and how to prevent the spread of antibiotic-resistant infections, visit apic.org/InfectionPreventionandYou and follow APIC on Twitter: @APIC and Facebook: www.facebook.com/APICInfectionPreventionandYou/.
APIC’s mission is to create a safer world through prevention of infection. The association’s more than 15,000 members direct infection prevention programs that save lives and improve the bottom line for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. APIC advances its mission through patient safety, implementation science, competencies and certification, advocacy, and data standardization.