This week is set aside across the globe to highlight World Antibiotic Awareness Week.(There is quiz to test your knowledge at the bottom of this post). We have seen many lives saved through the prudent use of antibiotics and for those of us who have been nursing for too many years to count, we can certainly appreciate the number of new antibiotics that have come onto the market over the years. In reading the AURA 2016 Report, it was great to see that in Australian Hospitals the overall use of antimicrobials in Australian hospitals peaked in 2010, and that there has been a steady decline since then.
Did you know that the four classes of antimicrobials most likely to drive AMR in the hospitalised population are aminoglycoides, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones and macrolides? Over the past five years, rates of gentamicin use (the most commonly used aminoglycoside) have decreased steadily in all states and territories.
I was also surprised to learn that in 2014, more than 30 million prescriptions for antibacterials were prescribed to Australians through the PBS/RPBS. Almost half of the Australian population took at least one course of antibacterials in that year.
Australia’s key reminders for Antibiotic Awareness week are highlighted below
- Antibiotics are a precious resource that could be lost.
- Antibiotic resistance is happening now – it is a worldwide problem that affects human and animal health.
- Antibiotic resistance happens when bacteria stops an antibiotic from working effectively – meaning some infections may be impossible to treat.
- Few new antibiotics are being developed to help solve this problem.
- Misuse of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance.
- Whenever antibiotics must be used, they must be used with care.
As Nurses one of the things we can do is to keep abreast of how to administer antibiotics properly and to remain aware of the changing situation with antibiotic resistance in Australia. There is a good CPD quiz session on the Nurses for Nurses Website with the 2016 AURA report as the basis.
The Nurses for Nurses Network provides great information and CPD on an array of nursing topics in a range of easy learning ways including webinars and quizzes on the latest information that Nurses need to know – remember the Nurses for Nurses Network was created by Australian Nurses for Nurses ! www.nursesfornurses.com.au