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Antibacterial prescriptions for acute gastrointestinal infections: uncovering the iceberg


Paweł Stefanoff, Justyna Rogalska, Marcin Czech, Ewa Staszewska, Magdalena Rosińska.


Epidemiol Infect 2013; 141(4): 859-67.

This paper summarizes a thorough investigation of healthcare utilization among cases of acute gastrointestinal illness referred to a physician or hospital. With the amount of data collected, we could probably publish 5 papers, but focused on antimicrobial usage here. We documented that Polish physicians prescribe antibiotics quite often to treat gastrointestinal infections. This is generally not recommended in Poland, where most gastrointestinal infections are not caused by bacteria susceptible to common antibiotics. Thus presctibing an antibiotic cannot help the individual patient, but can only lead to harm. Moreover, gastrointestinal infections are extremely common in the society, leading to huge overuse of antibiotics overall, with such irresponsible apprach. This can have serious implications in the future!

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