Use antbiotics correctly, KGH pharmacist urges

The KGH Antimicrobial Stewardship team, from left, Julie Fosbrook, Louisa Dodoo-Ankrah, Naomi Fleming, Rachel Glover, Samantha Saunders and Alison Ingram holding some packs of antibiotics
The KGH Antimicrobial Stewardship team, from left, Julie Fosbrook, Louisa Dodoo-Ankrah, Naomi Fleming, Rachel Glover, Samantha Saunders and Alison Ingram holding some packs of antibiotics

Kettering General Hospital is urging local people to use antibiotics in the right way during a world awareness week designed to combat the rise of dangerous antibiotic resistant organisms.

The hospital’s antibiotic pharmacist, and her team, will be promoting the appropriate use messages in the hospital’s Foundation Wing atrium and in key staff areas throughout World Antibiotic Awareness Week (November 13 to 19).

The international campaign – which is supported in the UK by Public Health England – aims to encourage the correct, limited and targeted, prescription of antibiotics and to encourage patients to complete their courses, as per their doctors’ instructions, to prevent resistance.

Antibiotic resistance is a major problem worldwide and is something that Kettering General Hospital sees in its testing labs on a regular basis.

Kettering General Hospital’s antibiotic pharmacist, Naomi Fleming, said: “One of the most obvious areas of growing resistance is the rise in bacteria that are resistant to drugs used to treat urinary tract infections.

“When we analyse samples from people who have UTIs we can test the organism that has infected them to see how resistant it is to antibiotics.

“We are seeing organisms that both locally – and across the country – are growing in their resistance. We see organisms with 30 per cent resistance to certain antibiotics.

“While at the moment pan-resistance (resistance to all drugs) is rare the growing levels of resistance are causing significant concern and we want to urge local people – and our own staff – to use antibiotics appropriately.”

Antibiotics are important medicines for treating bacterial infections in both humans and animals. However, bacteria can adapt and find ways to survive the effects of an antibiotic.

This means antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at an increasing rate and the more we use antibiotics, the greater the chance bacteria will become resistant to them and they can no longer be used to treat infections.

Inappropriate use of antibiotics by patients can lead to greater resistance in the organisms it is used to treat. This includes:

Not taking your antibiotics as prescribed

Skipping doses of antibiotics

Not taking antibiotics at regular intervals

‘Saving some for later’

Sharing antibiotics with others

Naomi said: “To slow down the development of antibiotic resistance, it is important to use antibiotics in the right way – to use the right drug, at the right dose, at the right time, for the right duration.

“Antibiotics should be taken as prescribed, and never saved for later or shared with others.

“We need to take the problem of antibiotic resistance very seriously indeed which is why it is important for local hospitals like Kettering General to promote awareness and encourage hospital patients – and patients in the local community – to use antibiotics correctly.”