Our Growing Resistance to Antibiotics [Infographic]
Sources of Antibiotic Exposure
Trends Related to Antibiotic Resistance
- Antibiotic resistance costs the U.S. economy approximately $20 billion in health care costs (2008 data).
- Additional costs to society from productivity loss due to illness from antibiotic-resistant bacteria amounts to roughly $35 billion per year (2008 data).
- Approximately 30 percent of all antibiotics use is unnecessary (2016 data).
- Since the first antibiotic-resistant bacterium was identified in the 1940s, the CDC’s list has grown to include 18 antibiotic-resistant organisms with health hazard levels ranging from “concerning” to “urgent.”
The Role of Primary Care Providers
- Prescribe correctly. Avoid treating viral syndromes with antibiotics, even when patients ask for them; pay attention to dose and duration to ensure that the right antibiotic is prescribed for the right duration; be aware of antibiotic-resistance patterns in your area so that you can always choose the right antibiotic; and hospital and nursing home providers should reassess within 48 hours of starting the antibiotic when the patient’s culture results come back.
- Collaborate with other health care providers and with patients. Talk to your patients about appropriate use of antibiotics; include microbiology cultures, when possible, when ordering antibiotics; and work with pharmacists to ensure appropriate antibiotic use and prevent resistance and adverse events.
- Stop the spread. Follow hand hygiene and other infection control measures with every patient.
- Embrace antibiotic stewardship. Improve antibiotic use in all facilities, regardless of size, through stewardship interventions and programs, which will improve individual patient outcomes, reduce the overall burden of antibiotic resistance, and save health care dollars.