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What are defined daily doses (DDDs)?

What are DDDs?

In this video William Malcolm explains what defined daily doses (DDDs) are.

So far we have considered why measurement of antibiotic use is a key cornerstone of any antimicrobial stewardship programme and in particular why measuring antibiotic use can be used to improve the quality of prescribing.

This step introduces you to the main way in which antibiotic use can be measured and expressed in numerical terms (remembering Kelvin’s wise words!)

WHO – DDD – Definition and general considerations

It is worth highlighting now that DDDs are used to measure antibiotic use over time and are primarily used by antimicrobial teams to monitor trends within a ward, hospital or primary care setting. This allows the identification of areas for further investigation using audit and quality improvement methods.

Front line clinicians are unlikely to utilise DDDs as they are not useful for measuring the clinical care of individual patients.

In the next steps we will show you how to calculate DDDs and discuss their use, along with other quantitative measures, for antibiotic use. It is important to understand how these calculations are achieved although in practice a database is normally used to perform the calculations for you and details of how to access this will be provided in Step 3.20.

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Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

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