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CDC Warns of Antibiotic Overuse in Hospitals

   March 05, 2014

Hospital physicians who overprescribe antibiotics are putting patients "at unnecessary risk of future drug-resistant infections, allergic reactions, and intestinal infections that can be deadly," a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official says.

Hospital physicians are putting their current and future patients in danger by overusing antibiotics, and they need to take steps now to prevent resistant bacterial strains, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials warned Tuesday.

According to a CDC survey, "about half of hospitalized patients got antibiotics during their stay." But "given the many reasons patients need hospital care, that's not particularly surprising," agency director Tom Frieden, MD, said during a news conference.

"What did really surprise me is that doctors in some hospitals prescribed three times as many antibiotics as others even though the patients were being cared for in similar areas of each hospital," Frieden said.

The White House budget proposal, also released Tuesday, calls for $30 million per year for five years to combat antibiotic-resistant infections. The money is meant to help hospitals more rapidly identify and treat "superbugs."


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