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Leading infectious diseases experts call for increased focus on protecting antibiotics
Date:3/15/2012

Arlington, VA (March 15, 2012) As the supply of life-saving antibiotics becomes increasingly threatened, infectious diseases experts urge healthcare systems and policymakers to step up efforts to protect patients by preserving the effectiveness of available antibiotics through antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.

A new position paper from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA), Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) outlines measures necessary to improve the use and ensure the impact of antibiotics on emerging healthcare associated infections. The paper is being published in the April issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, in a special topic issue focused on antimicrobial stewardship.

Antimicrobial stewardship (AS) programs and interventions help prescribers know when antibiotics are needed and what the best treatment choices are for a particular patient to help improve the use of these drugs.

"Antibiotic stewardship is a critical component of providing quality care in any health setting," said Neil Fishman, MD, SHEA past president and position paper author. "Effective stewardship will improve outcomes, conserve limited resources and limit emergence of resistance."

Antimicrobial stewardship interventions have the potential to improve the quality of patient care throughout the United States, reduce healthcare costs associated with unnecessary treatments and help preserve the use of antibiotics for generations to come.

"With few antibiotics in the pharmaceutical pipeline, we must take the necessary measures to preserve our current supply of antibiotics, and ensure that our children have access to these lifesaving medications." said Christopher J. Harrison, MD, chair of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society's Clinical Affairs Committee.

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Contact: Tamara Moore
tmoore@gymr.com
202-745-5114
Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America
Source:Eurekalert

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