Everyone prescribing antibiotics should consider both their clinical and public health responsibilities. The objective should be to provide optimal patient care while at the same time seeking to minimize selective pressure that may result in the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. To this end, in 2008 the European Centre for Disease Control initiated the annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) to take place on 18 November, when Europe-wide activities are undertaken to highlight the critical importance of prudent antibiotic prescribing. This year activities in England will focus on the optimal management of infections in secondary care, and will have two inter-related aims. The first is to improve the quality of the initial decision to prescribe an antibiotic (including making an informed choice of empirical drug and dose) in particular ensuring rapid prescribing and administration in presumed sepsis. This is deliberately combined with a second focus on the critical importance of formally reviewing antibiotic therapy at 48 h, based on the patient's clinical response and the availability of microbiology test results. This should lead to a clear decision to stop, switch to oral, switch to outpatient antibiotic therapy (OPAT) or change antibiotic, if possible to a narrower spectrum. The EAAD campaign in England will highlight the need to 'Start Smart-Then Focus'. The aim is that patients receiving antibiotics should receive the right drug at the right time at the right dose for the right duration.
- Antimicrobial stewardship
- European Antibiotic Awareness Day