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Why is stewardship important?

A video describing Why Stewardship is Important?
Hi there. Did you know that 70 years ago penicillin saved countless lives in World War II? Fast forward to the 21st century and the chief doctor in the UK calls for an antimicrobial resistance to be put on the national risk register and be taken seriously. And the US government describes antimicrobial resistance as one of our most serious health threats. In Canada, outbreaks of superbugs frequently make headlines because they kill patients. Antimicrobial resistance isn’t a new phenomenon. All germs have the ability to develop resistance. But the more drug exposure there is, the faster resistance develops in people, animals, and agriculture. We know face infections that are resistant to many, if not all, of our available drugs.
And there is very little to look forward to in the antibiotic development pipeline. Since 2010, only three new antimicrobials have been approved for use in Canada. This means that we must manage these precious resources more wisely, like preserving clean drinking water or halting global warming. Inappropriate or unnecessary use of antimicrobials is often cited as up to 50%. Misuse of antimicrobials is risky to patients. It can increase mortality, time spent in the hospital, and lead to collateral damage, such as a new infection with another bug, like C. difficile, a germ that causes diarrhoea in most but may cause serious or fatal infection in others.
Using antimicrobials appropriately will not only help preserve our antibiotics, but will also improve patient outcomes and patient safety. Everyone wants to do the best thing for their patient. Sometimes that feels like wanting to give the strongest, broadest spectrum antibiotic. But we need to ask, is that really the best thing, not just for this patient but the patients in the global community? We need to carefully think about why we are giving an antibiotic, what drug we choose, and how we are using it, dose and duration of therapy. We are falling behind the curve with a prevalence of multi-drug resistant organisms and the lack of new and innovative antimicrobials.
Antimicrobial stewardship is just one facet in the efforts to improve outcomes among patients with infections and reduce the incidence of resistance. Everyone plays an important role as good antimicrobial stewards.

Now watch this animation created by the Sinai Health System and University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program in Canada, which cleverly explains why Antimicrobial Stewardship is so important.

We would like to thank our colleagues at the Sinai Health System – University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program (SHS-UHN ASP) for allowing us to use this video in the course. You can share this video using the social media and email sharing buttons below. You can also view it on YouTube.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

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