U.S. Antibiotics Awareness Week November 18-24, 2019

ON Monday, November 18, 2019 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the U.S. Antibiotics Awareness Week which will continue until November 24. During this week, the CDC and participating organizations will raise awareness about the need for using antibiotics properly and carefully. Antibiotics are powerful drugs that can save lives when used to treat serious bacterial infections. Misuse of antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance where the antibiotics will no longer be able to destroy infections caused by bacteria that have become resistant to the antibiotics. Also patients must be protected from harmful side effects from using antibiotics unnecessarily. Antibiotics must also be used in the most effective way to prevent infections from leading to sepsis, which is a life-threatening disease condition. See our blog post from June 20, 2019 to learn more about sepsis and a possible breakthrough in treatment.

Antibiotics Save Lives and have Transformed Modern Medicine

Antibiotics made their debut during World War II. Antibiotics were seen as “miracle drugs” that could save lives. When a patient needs antibiotics, the benefits outweigh the risks of side effects as well as the risks for antibiotic resistance. Antibiotics have transformed modern medicine and various surgical procedures depend on them such as:

  • Organ transplants
  • Joint replacements
  • Treatment of chronic diseases
  • Cancer therapy

Antibiotic Resistance is a Major Worldwide Concern

Antibiotic resistance is when an antibiotic no longer will work against a certain kind of bacteria because this strain of bacteria has developed resistance against that antibiotic. This is a major world wide concern. Scientists are trying  to find new and  better antibiotics or other ways to treat serious bacterial infections. The CDC estimate that every year about 2.8 million people are infected with strains of bacteria that have become resistant to antibiotics. As a result, about 35,000 people die every year from antibiotic resistant infections.

Infants and Seniors Most at Risk

Infants and seniors are most at risk for picking up antibiotic resistant infections, as their immune systems are weak.

How to use Antibiotics Properly

Taking antibiotics can lead to antibiotic resistance.

Antibiotics are only needed for treating infections caused by bacteria. However, some bacterial infections get better without antibiotics.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, such as those that cause colds, flu or viral bronchitis. Respiratory viruses usually go away in a week or two without treatment.

When antibiotics are not needed, not only will they not help you get better, but you could suffer from side effects that can even be harmful. Be sure to notify your doctor about any side effects that you may experience, especially severe diarrhea. However, when you really do need to take antibiotics for a bacterial infection, then the benefits usually outweigh the risk of side effects.

If you need antibiotics, take them exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take them for less time or more time than your doctor tells you. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions about your antibiotics.

Do your best to stay healthy and keep others healthy by washing your hands, covering your mouth when you cough. Stay home when you are sick so as not to infect others.

Do not share your prescribed antibiotics with other family members, friends or neighbors. Your antibiotics have been prescribed only for you according to your doctor’s instructions.

Be sure to get recommended vaccines such as the flu vaccine that can help protect you against viral infections. The CDC also strongly recommends that all seniors get the pneumococcal vaccine which can protect against some types of serious bacterial infections like pneumococcal pneumonia.

Complex Wound Care at Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey

Bacterial infections can sometimes become chronic complex wound infections such as diabetic foot ulcers. If you or your loved one suffer from complex wound infections you may need to be treated at a rehab that specializes in complex wound care.

Complex Wound Care at Park Crescent Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Orange, New Jersey offers one of the most cutting-edge wound care programs in the area. Physicians and hospitals repeatedly refer their patients with complex wounds to Park Crescent for treatment. Many patients who had been suffering for years with chronic open wounds have experienced successful results with the wounds effectively closing.  This healing of their chronic wounds helped them to return to a normal healthy life.  To read more about complex wound care at Park Crescent see our blog post from February 1, 2019.


While antibiotics are real life savers they should be used properly to reduce the risk for the development of antibiotic resistance.

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