If antibiotics don't work: fighting dangerous germs 2

If antibiotics don't work: fighting dangerous germs


If antibiotics don't work: Experts warn of excessive and unnecessary use of the drug.
By Bernd Wientjes

More than one in four Rhineland-Palatinate employees will be prescribed antibiotics if they are sick with a cold. A Krankenkasse (TK) technician warns about this. What sounds like a harmless statement at first but has fatal consequences. Not only are antibiotics not effective against coughs, runny nose and hoarseness, as colds are usually caused by viruses. Antibiotics work against germs. They prevent them from multiplying or even killing them completely.

However, prescribing unnecessarily can even hurt, says TK Country Chief Jörn Simon. Overuse of antibiotics leads to bacterial resistance. At worst, they become so resistant that no existing antibiotic can work against them. Because, according to the State Bureau of Investigation (LUA), they are mastering the fatal trick: "By transmitting a small fraction of the genetic data, they can transfer their resistance to other bacteria." This would render salvage medicines ineffective.

Although the number of antibiotics prescriptions in Rhineland-Palatinate has dropped by eleven percent since 2017, TK reports. However, last year, national comparisons in the Rhineland Palatinate prescribed above average antibiotics. Simon calls on doctors for better education: "If patients know they just have to go through a cold and even antibiotics do not speed up healing, they can rather deal with the fact that family doctors instead of medicines advise them to go to bed. to talk to patients.

However, complaints have not been done, according to the regional head of TK. More efforts should be made to reduce antibiotic use and thus reduce drug resistance. Simon therefore suggests that clinics document the use of antibiotics, that all patients should be tested for possible resistant germs at the time of admission, and that the use of so-called backup antibiotics should be consulted at the hospital pharmacy.

This is practiced at the parent company Trier. "Every antibiotic order is verified by a pharmacist," says Sabine Steinbach. She runs a hospital pharmacy at her parent company. Also, the use of antibiotics in wards is regularly reviewed and questioned. In addition, there are guidelines with recommendations for antibiotics for certain diseases. All nurses and doctors at the parent company would be sensitive to the "responsible approach" and targeted use of antibiotics, says hospital spokeswoman Kristina Kattler. In addition, at-risk patients would be screened for microbial resistance. "Infected patients are immediately isolated," says Kattler. In addition, employees were regularly trained in hygiene measures.

"Nine out of ten microbes are transmitted by hand," says TK CEO Simon. "Therefore, not only medical staff but also patients and their hospital visitors should be careful to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. Bacteria infection occurs over and over in clinics. Germ-resistant, antibiotic-resistant germs would still be a challenge," the spokeswoman said. One of these multi-drug resistant microbes is the so-called MRSA. It is transmitted mainly through contact with the skin, hands and the surface. compared to 90 in 2017. Since 2010, when MRSA infection was first reported, the number has almost halved, according to the LUA. Statistically, 1.77 out of every 100,000 Rhineland-Palatinate suffer from MRSA infection a year. it was still 3.95. The reason is that the State Investigation Bureau mentions stricter hygiene regulations in medical institutions. Specific measures include training of medical staff for consistent hand disinfection and optimization of instrument sterilization. In addition, antibiotics should only be prescribed if really necessary. "The goal of all efforts," the LUA statement said, "is to prevent new hospital infections while controlling the development and spread of resistant bacteria."