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Study: Seven of 10 bronchitis patients are prescribed antibiotics

Accreditation Insider, May 27, 2014

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Seven of 10 patients seeking treatment for acute bronchitis receive a prescription for antibiotics, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study’s authors said the ideal prescription rate is 0%.

Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston studied data from two national surveys that track patients seen in clinics or hospital EDs. Between 1996 and 2010, the records identified 3,153 patients who were seen for acute bronchitis, which usually lasts for three weeks or less. During that period, 36% of those patients were prescribed an extended macrolide and another 35% were prescribed broad-spectrum antibiotics. The authors note that this means the antibiotic prescribing rate for acute bronchitis was 71% when it should be zero; overprescribing of antibiotics is believed to lead to incerased antibiotic resistance. 

Read the study here.



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