ANTIBIOTICS UTILIZATION PATTERNS AND DIRECT COST IN AN EMERGENCY TREATMENT UNIT IN SRI LANKA
Objective: Anecdotal evidence suggested that antibiotics are frequently used in the Emergency Treatment Units in Sri Lanka, mostly for the respiratory tract, soft tissue or urinary tract infections. This study aimed to describe the utilization patterns of antibiotics in terms of most common type, indication and associated direct cost in ETU at the Teaching Hospital Karapitiya, Sri Lanka.
Methods: In this study, utilization patterns and the direct cost of antibiotics in an emergency treatment unit was evaluated by checking the bed-head tickets of all patients admitted to the unit from 1/5/16 to 15/5/16. Out of the 414 bed-head tickets checked 156 patients were receiving antibiotic treatment. Socio-demographic characteristics were analyzed. The prices of antibiotics in SriLankan government hospitals were taken from the hospital medical supply division price list. Data were analyzed by Microsoft Excel™.
Results: In this study, 45.5% (out of 156 patients) were aged between 61-80years. The most used antibiotic was amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (18.1%) and clarithromycin (15.5%). Generic antibiotics were used for most patients (95.58%). Fixed-dose combinations were used in 18.5% of cases, including amoxicillin/clavulanic acid and piperacillin/tazobactam. The common indications for prescribing antibiotics were respiratory tract infections (31.2%) and soft tissues injuries (12.1%).
Conclusion: This study revealed that there is apparent overuse of antibiotics and reveals that antibiotic stewardship programme could reduce antibiotic use, antibiotic resistance, and cost. Improved understanding of the rationale for antibiotic use would contribute optimising their use. Further studies are needed to establish the extent of sub-optimal prescribing of antibiotics in Sri Lankan hospitals.
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