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November 12-18 2018 is Antibiotic Awareness Week
Antibiotic Awareness Week is an annual observation to raise awareness around antibiotic stewardship practices. Antibiotic stewardship is a coordinated program in healthcare facilities that promotes the proper use of antibiotics, improves patient outcomes, reduces antibiotic resistance, and decreases the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms. The focus of the Antibiotic Awareness week is to encourage the collaboration of organizations involved in human health and animal health to improve antibiotic stewardship practices. Antimicrobial resistance is an important issue and can affect anyone from every walk of life.

Learn what you can do as a patient to reduce antibiotic resistance.

Further information and resources regarding the weeklong observance:

 

About Resistance

Antibiotic or Antimicrobial Resistance is the ability of germs to survive treatment with drugs designed to get rid of them. Antibiotic-resistant infections can affect anyone in any walk of life, although some people are more at risk than others. Treating infections caused by resistant organisms is difficult, needing more expensive drugs which may have serious side effects. There are actions everyone can take to prevent the development of new resistance and reduce the spread of resistance that already exists. The term used for such actions is antibiotic or antimicrobial stewardship.

For more information about resistance, including how and why antimicrobial resistance develops explore the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Antimicrobial Resistance web page.

About Stewardship

Antimicrobial stewardship refers to a coordinated group of activities which can occur on the individual, facility, regional, state and national level that:

  • promote the appropriate use of antibiotics
  • improve patient outcomes
  • reduce antibiotic resistance, and
  • decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant organisms.

Some actions to reach the above goals require few resources, but can have a large impact (like hand washing), while others may require more money or technical support (like gathering information on how many people are taking antibiotics). Regardless, everyone, both patients and providers, has a role and every step to initiate an antimicrobial stewardship program or improve upon guidelines is a step in the right direction.

For more information about what you can do to fight antimicrobial resistance, follow the links below:

For questions about what the Division of Public Health Services is doing to encourage antimicrobial stewardship and reduce healthcare-associated infections, call 271-4496 or email us at haiprogram@dhhs.nh.gov.

 
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New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
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