The increase in antibiotic resistant infections, which now claim at least 23,000 lives each year in the U.S., is attributed to the historic use, and overuse, of antibiotics. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 20-50% of all antibiotics prescribed within U.S. hospitals are either unnecessary or inappropriate.
Dr. Stuart B. Levy’s research changed the way people think about antibiotics, and his observations within the medical profession explain why we’re seeing more antibiotic resistance in people.
James Keegan, MD, infectious disease specialist and head of antibiotic stewardship services for PYA (a national consulting and accounting firm in the health industry), spoke with Levy, who wrote the 1992 book about antibiotic resistance.
“A Conversation with the Pioneer Behind the Groundbreaking Study in Antibiotic Resistance—Dr. Stuart Levy,” showcases Dr. Levy’s landmark work—how it all began; what was learned; how it was received; and how it influences physicians, hospitals, critical access hospitals, and long-term care settings worldwide.
According to Dr. Levy, “The whole idea that you can influence physicians’ prescribing behavior was not accepted 30 years ago, but it is certainly becoming more accepted today. It is obvious antibiotic resistance is happening. . . . The revelation is that we can do something about it, but the message must be repeated over and over.”
Using the groundwork largely laid by Dr. Levy, Dr. Keegan works with other physicians, hospitals, and hospital associations, promoting a strategy of “aggressive diagnostics, conservative therapeutics” to tackle the resistance problem. He believes in the prudent use of antibiotics by healthcare professionals. Read the interview here.