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IV. Problems in the Use of Antibiotics |

Antimicrobial Drug Usage in General Hospitals in Pennsylvania

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Edward H. Kass, M.D.; Channing Laboratory, Boston City Hospital; Boston, MA 20118.

Boston, Massachusetts

© 1978 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1978;89(5_Part_2):800-801. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-89-5-800
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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.





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