Friday 9 December 2016

'Last resort' antibiotic use on rise despite warnings

Published 18/11/2016 | 02:30

Use of antibiotics needs to be tightly controlled in hospitals and in the community (Stock picture)
Use of antibiotics needs to be tightly controlled in hospitals and in the community (Stock picture)

The use of "last resort" antibiotics continued to rise slightly in Irish hospitals in 2015, new figures show.

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The carbapenems group of antibiotics should be used sparingly because they are last-line drugs and are becoming less effective against serious infection.

Use of antibiotics is measured as defined daily doses (DDD) per 100 bed days. The consumption rate of these drugs in DDD per 100 bed days went up from 8.6 in 2014 to 8.8 in 2015, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

It comes as another warning about the overuse and misuse of these drugs was issued on European Antibiotic Awareness Day.

The EU has warned that without antibiotics then organ transplants, cancer chemotherapy, intensive care and other medical procedures will be undermined.

Use of antibiotics needs to be tightly controlled in hospitals and in the community.

However, last year some Irish hospitals saw a rise in the use of a range of antibiotics, including the Mater Hospital in Dublin, St Luke's Hospital, Kilkenny, and the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street.

Meanwhile, a new study from the University of Cambridge shows that a multi-drug resistant infection that can cause life-threatening illness in people with cystic fibrosis and can spread from patient to patient has spread globally and is becoming increasingly virulent. Research in the journal 'Science' also suggests that conventional cleaning will not be sufficient to eliminate the pathogen, which can be transmitted through contaminated surfaces or in the air.

Irish Independent

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