World Antibiotics Awareness Week aims to increase awareness of global antibiotic resistance and to encourage best practices among the general public, health workers and policy makers to avoid the further emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) celebrated the week from November 16th to the 22nd.
“Antibiotic Resistance is a major threat to global health today and is threatening our ability to treat infectious diseases. With very few new antibiotics in development, the problem is likely to get worse unless effective action is taken,” says Dr. Philip George, Staff Intensivist and Physician Lead for the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (ASP) Program, TBRHSC. “TBRHSC takes this problem very seriously and has launched the ASP, which undertakes a number of patient focused strategies to optimize antibiotic use and combat antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics are precious resources and certainly need to be handled with care”.
Some hospital acquired infections are due to inappropriate antimicrobial use. Essentially, the ASP program helps to ensure that patients get the right antibiotics when they need them. An additional benefit of the ASP program is the cost savings that result from ensuring antibiotics are used in the most efficient and effective manner.
“Our Program is currently being implemented in selective areas with hopes of making it hospital-wide in the future,” explains Charlene Wilson, Clinical Pharmacist and Pharmacy Lead for the ASP, TBRHSC. “It is an inter-disciplinary program that monitors patients and provides recommendations on the appropriate use of antibiotics. Education and information are also key components of the program. Programs are being implemented all across Canada and are actually part of a global initiative to help preserve our antibiotics, decrease resistance, and improve patient outcomes.”