'Last resort' antibiotics use on the rise, study shows
A large, multi-year study of antibiotic use in Veterans Health Administration's acute care facilities demonstrates dramatically increased use of carbapenems, a powerful class of antibiotics, over the last five years. These drugs are often considered the last treatment option for severe infections with multi-drug resistant pathogens. The increased carbapenem use, which has also been described in non-VA facilities in the US, is alarming because carbapenem-resistant bacteria are becoming more common. Overuse of these drugs could weaken their efficacy, threatening their effectiveness against these and other emerging infections. The study was presented today at the annual meeting of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).