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Overuse Of Antibiotics To Treat UTI's In Nursing Homes

There is a rapid increase of people who are developing drug-resistant bacterial infections. This is happening mostly in nursing homes. A study conducted in many different nursing homes showed that most residents were getting treated for urinary tract infections that they do not have in the first place. Most of the residents often get misdiagnosed or do not get diagnosed at all as doctors will prescribe antibiotics before even doing any tests.

See our last article on medication errors in nursing homes here:

Adverse Reactions

The use of antibiotics unnecessarily leads to different reactions and even allergic reactions. This is very dangerous and can even be deadly for those people who are over the age of 65. The abuse of antibiotics used to treat infectionsantibiotics leads to the person becoming resistant to the drugs and, as a result, it becomes even more difficult to treat them. It is even more common among those people who are suffering from dementia, as they cannot express and explain their symptoms clearly.

For one to be diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, they have to show the symptoms of the infection. They should also test positive for the presence of the bacteria in their urine. However, those suffering from dementia are often not able to express themselves. This is also common for those who have mental conditions. Thus you will find that for this group of people, they are often given antibiotics for suspected infections without doing proper tests.This results in the residents taking more antibiotics that they do not need.

In nursing homes, as a result of the overuse of antibiotics, you will find that the residents develop drug-resistant infections. Drug-resistant infections lead to the following negative effects.

Increase In Recurring Infections

Whenever a person takes antibiotics, it destroys all bacteria present in the body. The drugs get rid of the good bacteria that is needed in the body. The drug resistant bacteria that is in the body does not get destroyed. Instead, they multiply and can spread to other parts of the body. They can be spread to other people. You will end up getting the same infection over and over again as it was never cleared from your body.

Advanced Illness

Misusing antibiotics also leads to the person getting advanced infections. This is because now the bacteria will not respond to the antibiotics as they are resistant to them. This leads to the infection turning into a superbug that refuses treatment.

More Invasive Treatment That Is Expensive

When the bacterial infection a person has does not respond to antibiotics, doctors will have no other option but to prescribe probiotics. These drugs are stronger than antibiotics. They are also more expensive than antibiotics. Most people are not able to afford them due to their cost.

Prolonged Recovery For Patients

People who have drug-resistant infections take longer to recover compared to those who do not have drug-resistant infections. This is because those who have the resistant strains will need to have higher doses of the drug taken over a longer period. This delays recovery.

More Deaths Due To Antibiotic Resistance

There are more infection-related deaths among those who have been overusing antibiotics. This is because they get resistance to the infection and do not respond to treatment that leads to death. Also, those who cannot afford the expensive treatment prescribed by the doctor will end up dying from the infection.

To prevent this from happening, nursing home providers can carry out the following measures:

This will reduce the number of people misusing antibiotics in nursing homes, and also reduce the chances of people developing resistance.

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Laurence P. Banville
Date Published: February 24, 2017
Laurence P. Banville is the managing partner of Banville Law. As an experienced personal injury attorney, Mr. Banville helps clients recover compensation from those responsible for his clients' injuries. Our firm is located in New York City, serving clients from the five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island.
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