A recent study published last month shows that children in the U.S. are being overprescribed antibiotics. They are also not always being prescribed the right antibiotic. The study was conducted on over 12,000 patients at 32 different hospitals in the United States.
The purpose of the study was to check and see if the hospitals’ review programs were catching cases where antibiotics were being overused. They found that 1 in 3 children in the US had been prescribed an antibiotic in the last few years. They also found that more than 25% of these patients should not have been the prescribed the medication that the doctor ordered for them.
This is causing kids to become more resistant to antibiotics. Not only can overmedicating harm children, it also makes it harder to treat them when they get older. The study found that, even with adults, about 30-50% of patients were prescribed suboptimal antibiotics as well.
All hospitals are supposed to have a program that checks and monitors prescriptions issued to their patients. These programs are supposed to look to see whether the drugs were necessary or if another medication would have been more appropriate. Sadly, most hospitals either don’t have a review program or don’t follow their procedures when it comes to doing the reviews.
The most noticeable instance where these drugs are being overprescribed have to do with bacterial lower respiratory infections, otherwise known as pneumonia. In these cases, either no antibiotic should have been issued at all, or a different drug would have been more appropriate.
If you or your child have been prescribed any medication that you believe was inappropriate or unnecessary, contact our office right away. You may have a potential legal claim against the hospital or prescriber.