Sunday, February 25, 2018
Health

Educate yourself about antibiotics

Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital will join other medical centers across the nation Monday through Nov. 19 in participating in U.S. Antibiotic Awareness Week, an educational effort about the appropriate and safe use of antibiotics. When used appropriately, antibiotic therapy can be lifesaving, but improper use weakens our ability to treat infections.

Here are a few numbers to know when discussing antibiotics with your child’s physician:

50 percent of antibiotics are inappropriately prescribed. Bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics at alarming rates. Improper use and prescribing antibiotics when they are not needed all contribute to building that resistance. This can create a challenge for health care workers if you or your child get sick and need treatment for bacterial infections such as pneumonia, bloodstream infections and urinary tract infections.

66.8 million antibiotics were prescribed to U.S. children under 19 years old in 2013, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is enough to give an antibiotic to eight out of 10 U.S. children. When you take your child to the doctor, do not ask for an antibiotic. We cannot tell patients enough that antibiotics do not treat viruses that cause the common cold or the flu (influenza virus). Allow your physician to determine whether an antibiotic is appropriate for your child’s illness. If you are prescribed an antibiotic, you should ask why, and discuss side effects and antibiotic resistance. Certain antibiotics should be used very infrequently in children, such as azithromycin, commonly known as the "Z-Pak," yet azithromycin remains the second most commonly prescribed antibiotic in children in the United States.

Antibiotic adverse events, or complications, result in 142,500 visits to the emergency center by adults and children each year, with almost 80 percent of those visits related to allergic reactions. When your child is prescribed antibiotics, observe closely to see how well he or she tolerates the treatment.

Antibiotics represent a major tool in treating illness, but like any tool, they need to be used appropriately. If they are not, the tool may not work when we really need it.

Dr. David M. Berman is a board-certified pediatric infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.

Comments

Researchers explore how activities affect brain development in kids

Baltimore Sun (TNS)BALTIMORE — Parents wondering how video games, athletic pursuits or sleeping habits could affect their kids’ brains may get some answers, thanks to a massive effort under way at 21 institutions across the country.Researchers are re...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Mental illness dominating post-Parkland gun debate, but at what cost?

Mental illness dominating post-Parkland gun debate, but at what cost?

A familiar and polarizing tug of war over gun control and access to guns has re-emerged in the week since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, thrusting mental illness once again into the national conversation about mass ...
Published: 02/24/18
After Parkland, admissions to mental health treatment centers in Florida spike

After Parkland, admissions to mental health treatment centers in Florida spike

The emotional welfare of children follows predicatable patterns. In the fall, when school begins, beds at psychiatric treatment centers fill up. They empty again during summer break and the winter holidays.In recent years, doctors and psychologists h...
Published: 02/24/18
Doctors ordered a urine test after her surgery. That’ll be $17,850, the lab said

Doctors ordered a urine test after her surgery. That’ll be $17,850, the lab said

This is the debut of a monthly feature from Kaiser Health News and NPR that will dissect and explain real medical bills in order to shed light on U.S. health care prices and to help patients learn how to be more active in managing costs. Do you have ...
Published: 02/21/18
Updated: 02/22/18
Preventive treatment for peanut allergies succeeds in study

Preventive treatment for peanut allergies succeeds in study

The first treatment to help prevent serious allergic reactions to peanuts may be on the way. A company said Tuesday that its daily capsules of peanut flour helped sensitize children to nuts in a major study. Millions of children have peanut allergies...
Published: 02/20/18
Doctors were wrong when they told her immunotherapy wouldn’t cure her cancer

Doctors were wrong when they told her immunotherapy wouldn’t cure her cancer

No one expected the four young women to live much longer. They had an extremely rare, aggressive and fatal form of ovarian cancer. There was no standard treatment.The women, strangers to one another living in different countries, asked their doctors ...
Published: 02/20/18

Hernando Bloodmobile for Feb. 23

Bloodmobile locationsLifeSouth Community Blood Center will have blood drives at the following off-site locations during the coming week:Feb. 23: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Walmart, 13300 Cortez Blvd., Spring Hill; 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Dickey’s Barbecue P...
Published: 02/20/18
Be prepared to help save a life: Learn CPR

Be prepared to help save a life: Learn CPR

70 percent of cardiac arrests outside hospitals happen at home. American Heart Association 3 a.m. Jan. 4, 2016. Lisa Peters of St. Petersburg is awakened by her husband, Rick, making strange gasping sounds. She can’t wake him. He feels cold. Only 46...
Published: 02/16/18

Step by step, ramp up your daily activity

Jae Bermanhe Washington Post There are many reasons that people avoid exercise. Time is an obvious one. Our lives are already busy — who has time to work out? Money is another common excuse. Gym memberships and equipment can get pricey.People often w...
Published: 02/16/18
Put Alaskan king crab leg shells to work in a creamy, dreamy bisque

Put Alaskan king crab leg shells to work in a creamy, dreamy bisque

Nothing says indulgence like noshing on some seriously giant Alaskan king crab legs. They’re not just tasty, they’re a low-fat source of protein: One leg has about 25 grams of protein and a host of vitamins and minerals (including sodium, incidentall...
Published: 02/15/18