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Revista Española de Salud Pública

versión On-line ISSN 2173-9110versión impresa ISSN 1135-5727


VERGELES-BLANCA, José María et al. Quality and characteristics of the prescribing of antibiotics at a hospital emergency department. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.72, n.2, pp.111-118. ISSN 2173-9110.

BACKGROUND: To assess the quality of the prescribing of antibiotics to patients treated at a hospital emergency department (HED). METHODS: Retrospective study of the 8600 patients treated and released from a HED throughout the January-April 1996 period. Those patients for whom antibiotics were prescribed as stated on the release form were included. The parameters employed for assessing the prescribing quality were: illness subject to being treated with antibiotics, proper antibiotic, dosage, proper frequency and length of time over which the antibiotic is to be taken. Each one of these parameters was assigned a mark affording the possibility of quantifying quality on a 0-100 point scale. The assessment of the extent to which proper treatment was prescribed was made based on the recommendations described on four guides to the use of antibiotics. RESULTS: Antibiotics were prescribed to 609 (7.1%) of the patients, basically for treating urinary tract infections (17.7%), the prevention of wound infection (13.1%) and for the treatment of repeated attacks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (10.3%). The antibiotic most often prescribed was cloxacillin (22.5%), followed by cyprofloxacin (13.4%) and clarithromycin (13.2%). Of all of the patients treated with antibiotics, 10.8% had no illness or any indication subject to being treated with these medications, and 32% of those patients who did indeed meet these requirements were prescribed an unsuitable antibiotic. Pneumonia was the illness for which the best quality of treatment was provided. The average mark for the prescriptions did not total 80 points in any of the guides. CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotics are medications frequently prescribed in HED’s. Major errors are found to exist with regard to the indication, selection and length of the treatments initiated with these medications, as a result of which it is advisable that sustained educational measures be taken.

Palabras clave : Antibiotics; Infection; Hospital Emergency Department; Quality control.

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