News | October 05, 2006

Ineffective Antibiotic Treatment Increases Risk of Death

Drug-resistant, hospital-acquired infections often are treated initially with ineffective antibiotics, which increases the risk of death, according to an article in the August issue of Critical Care Medicine, the journal of the Society of Critical Care Medicine.
The researchers conducted a three-year retrospective study of 549 Barnes-Jewish Hospital patients with MRSA sterile-site infection to determine the rate of appropriate initial antimicrobial administration and to evaluate the influence of this treatment on outcome. They found that nearly one in three MRSA-infected patients initially received inappropriate treatment for MRSA infection, nearly doubling their risk of death.
“Physicians should deliver early appropriate antibiotic therapy,” said senior author Marin H. Kollef, M.D., professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “For methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that means treating acutely ill hospitalized patients with antibiotics that are active against MRSA instead of less effective antibiotics.“

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