Wednesday June 26, 2019

Antibiotics after appendicitis surgery prolong hospital stay

Sick woman lying in bed

New York: Antibiotic use following surgery for complicated appendicitis may do more harm than good, suggests new research.

The researchers found that patients who received antibiotics following complicated appendicitis surgery remained in the hospital up to one day longer than similar patients who had not received antibiotics.

“Our study indicates antibiotics may not be necessary following surgery for complicated appendicitis,” said lead researcher Dennis Kim from Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute in the US.

The researchers studied the outcomes over five years for 410 adults with complicated appendectomies, or those where the appendix was found to be perforated or gangrenous.

Post-operative antibiotics were administered to 274 of those patients, or 66.8 percent.

The study compared patients who received post-operative antibiotics to those who had not received the medications and found no significant difference in wound complications among the two groups.

The 274 patients who received post-operative antibiotics did have slightly longer hospital stays – an average of about one day longer – than the patients who did not receive the medication.

“Antibiotics are not without risks, costs or complications. While further study is needed, surgeons and physicians may wish to re-examine or be more selective in deciding which patients may potentially benefit from post-operative antibiotic therapy for complicated appendicitis,” Kim noted.

The study was published online in the American Journal of Surgery.



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WHO Launches Tool for Safer Use of Antibiotics, Curb Resistance

Its global initiative, so-called AWaRe campaign, is aimed at making decision and policymakers aware

WHO, Tool, Antibiotics
FILE - This illustration released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a group of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. VOA

The World Health Organization (WHO) is launching a new tool to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Its global initiative, so-called AWaRe campaign, is aimed at making decision and policymakers aware of the appropriate and effective use of antibiotics for specific infections.

Antimicrobial resistance is growing because of the widespread abuse and misuse of antibiotics. The WHO considers antimicrobial resistance one of the most urgent health risks in the world. It warns a century of medical progress will be undone without accelerated action to contain rising resistance by making antibiotic use safer and more effective.

WHO assistant director general for access to medicines Mariangela Simao says pneumonia kills many children in developing countries because they do not get appropriate medication.

“More than almost a million deaths in developing countries is due to treatable bacterial diseases, which can in most cases be linked to the lack of access to antibiotics, or to wrong diagnostics, or to wrong prescriptions,” she said. “So, we, by launching this tool, WHO aims at narrowing the gap between excess use and access.”

WHO, Tool, Antibiotics
The World Health Organization (WHO) is launching a new tool to reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Pixabay

The tool is based on the WHO Essential Medicines List. The list specifies which antibiotics to use for the most common and serious infections and those which should be available at all times in the health care system.

WHO Assistant Director General for Antimicrobial Resistance, Hanan Balkhy, says the Essential Medicines List also indicates those antibiotics that must be used sparingly and as a last resort.

“We expect that the list will actually be a legitimate reference for health care providers who would like to understand the better ways of prescribing antibiotics,” she said. “And that following these guidelines will actually help them in having a system of how they would prescribe antibiotics, and have it based on a legitimate resource, which is the WHO.”

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The World Health Organization notes no significant investments are being made in the development of new antibiotics. Therefore it says improving the use of existing antibiotics is critical to curb the further spread of antimicrobial resistance. It says its new guidelines will help prescribers and health workers select the right antibiotic for the right infection, thereby protecting endangered antibiotics. (VOA)