Thu, 31 October 2019
Bahrain Specialist Hospital has initiated a new programme to enhance patient health and reduce resistance to antibiotics.
Indiscriminate use of antibiotics has begun to have adverse effect on human health with bacteria showing resistance to medication. And experts are advising both doctors and patients to use antibiotics with caution.
A recently published study carried out in the US claims that antibiotics are prescribed inappropriately nearly 25 per cent of the time, with the World Health Organisation calling the resistance “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today.”
Patients who are unnecessarily exposed to antibiotics are placed at risk for serious adverse events with no clinical benefit. Unlike other medications, the potential for spread of resistant organisms means that the misuse of antibiotics can adversely impact the health of patients who are not even exposed to them. It is estimated that millions of people worldwide are infected with antibiotic-resistant organisms, resulting in thousands of deaths annually.
In order to curtail the overuse of antibiotics, Bahrain Specialist Hospital has implemented an Antibiotic Stewardship Programme that helps minimise the prescription of antibiotics to bare necessity. The hospital has dedicated necessary human, financial and information technology resources for the effective execution of the programme. Moreover, it is regularly monitoring antibiotic prescribing and resistance patterns, alongside regularly reporting information on antibiotic use and resistance to doctors, nurses and relevant staff while educating clinicians about resistance and optimal prescribing.
The Antibiotic Stewardship Programme ensures that a patient is treated with the right medication at the right time and for appropriate duration, reducing the adverse reactions to the excessive use of antibiotics. It focuses on quality patient care and safety, slows down the emergence of resistance while optimising the treatment results; it also highlights the negative impact of antibiotics if not consumed cautiously. Moreover, the programme helps to cut down the cost of healthcare burdened with unnecessary expenditure of overprescribed medication.
“When bacteria are regularly exposed to antibiotics, they begin to show strong resistance to the medicines, a characteristic that is passed on when they multiply. Not only that, they can transfer this resistance to other bacteria as well. Moreover, unnecessary use of antibiotics not only kills the bad bacteria but good bacteria as well, weakening the immune system. As a result, when the patient is in actual need of the medication, it fails to do its job,” explained Dr Kasim Ardati, Managing Director of Bahrain Specialist Hospital.
“From the very inception of BSH we have been collecting information in our laboratory on bacteria that are found in our patients’ test results and studying their antibiotic resistance. Using this information, every year we publish the results for our doctors and nurses, training them to control and restrict the use of antibiotics. Over the years, we’ve noticed that the bacteria that was earlier fighting antibiotics has now become submissive due to restricted use of the medication.”
Dr Ardati has also asked the public to be mindful of the fact that antibiotics are not effective in viral cases, such as colds and flu etc.
According to a global pharmaceutical company, if there is no intervention to curb the excessive use of antibiotics the resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
“This is why, as medical practitioners, we have to be mindful of when it’s necessary to prescribe antibiotics and when it can be avoided. With the Antibiotic Stewardship Programme at Bahrain Specialist Hospital, we are trying to highlight the issue in the medical fraternity as well as to create awareness among the masses regarding the negative side affects of antibiotic overuse,” added Dr Ardati.
The doctor further warned that as antibiotics become ineffective, even common infections may become life-threatening necessitating hospitalisation, and may even result in death in extreme cases. Overuse can also cause allergic reactions, diarrhoea and colitis, among other serious health issues.
A firm believer in patient care and safety above everything else, Bahrain Specialist Hospital is committed to providing the highest standards of quality healthcare, upholding and respecting the rights, beliefs and need for confidentiality of the patients, staff and visitors.
Call 17 812-000