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Antibiotic Awareness Week, November 18–24, 2020

November 23, 2020

We all must be aware of the importance of not asking our doctor or health care professional for an antibiotic. Discuss with them whether they feel an antibiotic is needed for your cold, minor skin infection, or sore throat. Doing this will conserve on the use of antibiotics so that, in the future, it will work for true bacterial infection.

Since the discovery of penicillin during 1928, antibiotics have been a lifesaving treatment in the fight against bacterial infections.

During the years since, however, antibiotics have been used and misused to treat all types of infectious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization, and professional health care associations have warned of a day where antibiotics may not work to treat common bacterial infections. To raise public attention about the importance of properly prescribing antibiotics, the CDC has designated November 18–24, 2020, as Antibiotic Awareness Week. 

The CDC estimates that, each year, 28 percent of antibiotic prescriptions in the outpatient setting are unnecessary. The overprescribing of antibiotics has caused the emergence of multiple drug-resistant organisms. There has been a continual campaign targeted to the public and health care community to be judicious when using antibiotics. Using the right antibiotic for the right infection or not using an antibiotic if not needed has been the theme of these campaigns. 

HAP’s Quality Initiatives Department has been working with hospitals on Antibiotic Stewardship Programs for more than five years. Visit the CDC’s website for additional information.

For more information on HAP’s efforts to promote antibiotic stewardship, contact Mary Catanzaro, or Clare Edelmayer, HAP’s project managers, infection prevention.