EDWARD H. KASS, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.C.P.
The Inter-Society Committee on Antimicrobial Drug Usage has conducted a survey of 20 randomly selected general hospitals in Pennsylvania. Records studied were of 5288 patients who either died or were discharged on 10 random days throughout 1974. About 28% of these patients received at least one antimicrobial drug during hospitalization. In 60% of the patients the drugs were given for treatment of infectious disease; in 30% they were given as prophylaxis for surgical or nonsurgical procedures. Prophylactic treatment was given for more than 2 days after a procedure in most cases, even though it is not considered effective after 48 h. Discontinuing prophylaxis after 48 h would reduce by 20% the use of antimicrobial drugs in hospitals. Overall, ampicillin and the cephalosporins were the most commonly prescribed drugs, with the more toxic drugs being used infrequently; over half of the patients given antimicrobial drugs had cultures taken. Both of these findings are consistent with accepted standards for antimicrobial drug usage.
KASS EH. Antimicrobial Drug Usage in General Hospitals in Pennsylvania. Ann Intern Med. ;89:800–801. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-89-5-800
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(5_Part_2):800-801.
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