Making the Case for Antibiotic Stewardship Antibiotics are a double-edged sword

Antibiotics prevent millions of deaths each year and remain the primary treatment for potentially fatal bacterial infections. Yet inappropriate prescription rates and overuse of antibiotics have led to resistance that has created a global health emergency and kills at least 700,000 people a year. If no action is taken, it is predicted to increase to 10 million deaths per year by 2050.1
 

It has been estimated that by 2050, 10 million worldwide deaths could result from antibiotic resistance, making it deadlier than cancer.2

Today’s healthcare professionals are challenged with balancing appropriate antibiotic prescribing with withholding of unnecessary antibiotic. Since infection symptoms can be non-specific, broad spectrum antibiotics are often the first line of defense for many clinicians to avoid missing potentially severe cases. 
 


Timely information

Serial procalcitonin (PCT) testing can make a difference when speed and accuracy matter most. PCT provides data specific to systemic bacterial infection, with respect to its presence, course, and severity.3 Adopting PCT tests into your antibiotic stewardship program has the potential to reduce initial antibiotic prescription rates, antibiotic treatment duration, in-hospital and ICU length of stay, and the likelihood of antibiotic-caused adverse events while resulting in optimized therapy, improved outcomes, and reduced costs.
 


 

This is a call to action—you have a role to play, and the time to act is now.

 

Learn more about implementing optimized procalcitonin testing in your hospital.

References
  1. New report calls for urgent action to avert antimicrobial resistance crisis [Internet]. World Health Organization. World Health Organization; 2019 [cited 2021Mar30]. Available here.
  2. Review on antimicrobial resistance. Tackling drug-resistant infections globally: Final report and recommendations [Internet]. London (UK). 2006 May. [cited 2020 Dec 11]. Available here.
  3. Karzai W, Oberhoffer M, Meier-Hellmann A, Reinhart K. Procalcitonin—a new indicator of the systemic response to severe infections. Infection. 1997 Nov 1;25(6):329-34.