By Amber Frum RN-C, BSN
Director of Nursing
Abbyshire Place Skilled Nursing & Rehab

AntibioticsWe are pleased to announce that Abbyshire Place Nursing & Rehab has initiated our Antibiotic Stewardship program.  This program is a collaborative approach involving our nursing staff; residents and families; Medical Director, Dr. Toothman;  and our consultant pharmacist, Rita Kessler.  Antibiotic Stewardship refers to a set of commitments and actions designed to make sure residents receive the right dose, of the right antibiotic, for the right amount of time; and only when truly necessary. Improving antibiotic use will ensure these life-saving medications are effective and available when we need them.

What Are Antibiotics?

Antibiotics are drugs used to treat infections caused by bacteria. They do not work for illnesses caused by viruses, like flu. There are times when antibiotics are urgently needed, for example to treat sepsis, pneumonia, meningitis, etc caused by bacteria. Using antibiotics when they are not necessary increases the risk they will not work when needed.

Antibiotics, like any medications, can have minor side effects, like upset stomach or a rash, as well as serious allergic reactions or dangerous interactions with other medications. Frequent or excessive use of antibiotics leads to developing bacteria that are resistant to those antibiotics. A person also can carry resistant bacteria without feeling sick.  This is called colonization.

Improving Practices

Improving antibiotic prescribing practices is important in nursing homes. Nursing home residents have a higher risk of colonization with bacteria for many reasons. The presence of invasive devices, such as urinary catheters and feeding tubes, wounds, diabetes, and strokes can all lead to colonization. Difficulties in separating colonization of bacteria from true illness in frail or older adults can lead to the overuse of antibiotics, which in turn drives antibiotic resistance.

For more information on our new program, please call Abbyshire Place at 740-446-7150