Antibiotics save lives but they can lead to severe consequences when not used properly

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than half of all medicines are prescribed incorrectly. Overmedication and inappropriate use of antimicrobials are the most significant problems.

The incorrect use of prescription medications can create a harmful scenario for both the health of patients and the reputation of healthcare professionals.  In addition, the abuse of antibiotics has consequences at the public health level, such as antimicrobial resistance, adverse drug reactions, waste of resources and loss of patient trust, among others. Therefore, nosocomial infections are becoming more resistant and more frequent. 

This problem is not highly visible. 

Currently, antimicrobial resistance is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, even surpassing HIV and malaria.  

It is also necessary to consider that antimicrobial consumption is one of the determining factors in the selection and spread of resistance. For this reason, regulating the preventive dispensing of medication to patients is part of the solution to the problem.  

Optimizing the use of existing drugs and strengthening sterilization and disinfection systems to face antimicrobial resistance represents a big challenge for infectious diseases treatment.  

It is essential to strengthen sterilization and disinfection in hospital institutions to reduce preventive drug prescription and thus combat antimicrobial resistance.

We have a line of cleaning/disinfection products from Germany called Bacoban with applied nanotechnology that provides superior protection against pathogens with a long-lasting antiviral effect against viruses, bacteria and fungi. It also offers protection between periods and antimicrobial effect for up to 10 days.

Furthermore, carrying out sterilization and decontamination processes (of different products for medical use, healthcare and surgical materials) with the latest technology available on the market avoids residual contamination of materials and works as a corrective measure to achieve excellence in instrument sterility.

 

Disinfection and quality standards 

According to the WHO and the World Economic Forum (WEF), antibiotic resistance is one of the world’s major public health problems because it generates morbidity and mortality increases due to the inability to control infectious diseases whose treatments are no longer effective.  This implies that therapeutic efficiency is reduced and may lead to a regression of modern medicine to the pre-antibiotc era.  

In the hospital environment, it is essential that medical instruments have the maximum asepsis and sterilization since any failure in the cleaning process of the material to be used may result in danger for the patient.  Although the prescription of drugs also compensates for possible failures in the cleaning systems, healthcare institutions can save a large percentage of the drugs prescribed by implementing policies of use and the correct sterilization and disinfection of materials and work areas.

With cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization procedures, not only is the quality of patient care improved, but it is also possible to lower costs, reduce infectious complications and shorten the length of stay of patients in institutions. However, the lack of prevention and control measures for healthcare-associated infections aggravates the problem.  

Disinfectants and antiseptics are fundamental tools to control the spread of infectious agents.  Maintaining hygiene norms and disinfection protocols with high standards within healthcare facilities reduces the need to over-prescribe drugs, optimizes the clinical capacity of the institutions, manages clinical risk, maximizes profitability and improves the standards of the sector.

Bringing together technology and health in healthcare institutions generates solutions that ensure patient safety and optimize hospital processes.  

 

Over expenditure due to antibiotic abuse

Bacterial resistance endangers the health and survival of human beings and increases the economic burden on society and patients.  Year after year, infections associated with healthcare practices cause an increase in morbidity and mortality of hospitalized patients, resulting in the allocation of more financial resources and higher hospital costs. Failure to deal with the root of this problem causes higher costs, extends and aggravates the issues in the long term.  

The increased use of antibiotics, for example, did not only have positive effects. It also led to a new problem: bacterial resistance to antibiotics, caused by their overuse. Among other issues, antibiotic resistance causes the need to prescribe stronger antibiotics with potentially serious side effects, more expensive and longer-lasting treatments and prolonged hospital stays. Not only does this situation cause hospital costs to rise, but it also puts the quality of care under scrutiny. 

One of the most important causes of hospital morbidity is post-surgery nosocomial infection. In this sense, although the use of postoperative antibiotic prophylaxis reduces the risk of infection, it is also true that good sterilization of materials and proper disinfection minimize the administration of antimicrobials to patients without evidence of infection.

Besides increasing hospital expenses, the prescription of antimicrobials creates a false sense of security in the surgical practice.  Even though antibiotic prophylaxis does not replace the doctor’s technical quality, following care precautions, asepsis and sterilization norms and discipline in the operating room may become more flexible and condition the patient’s recovery.

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