Hospital Antibiotic Use Can Put Patients At Risk, Study Says

Lena H. Sun | The Washington Post | March 4, 2014

Doctors in some hospitals prescribe up to three times as many antibiotics as doctors at other hospitals, putting patients at greater risk for deadly superbug infections, according to a federal study released Tuesday.

In addition, about one-third of the time, prescriptions to treat urinary tract infections and prescriptions for the drug vancomycin were given without proper testing or evaluation, or prescribed for too long, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During the past year, CDC officials have been raising the alarm about health threats from antibiotic resistance. Last fall, the CDC warned that the nation faces “potentially catastrophic consequences” if it doesn’t act quickly to combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections, which kill an estimated 23,000 Americans each year.

President Obama’s budget for the 2015 fiscal year proposes an additional $30 million for CDC initiatives to combat the growing crisis surrounding antibiotic resistance.