Well­ness Arti­cles

Antibi­otics for Chil­dren With Ear Infec­tions Ques­tion­able

The South­ern California/​RAND Evidence-​based Prac­tice cen­tre (EPC) per­formed an analy­sis of clin­i­cal stud­ies con­ducted on chil­dren four weeks to 18 years of age from 1964 through 1998, spon­sored by the Agency for Health­care Research and Qual­ity (AHRQ). In this analy­sis the inves­ti­ga­tors found, a large per­cent­age of chil­dren, nearly two-​thirds of those stud­ied, “with uncom­pli­cated acute oti­tis media…recover from pain and fever within 24 hours of diag­no­sis with­out (antibi­otic) treatment…and over 80% recover within 1 to 7 days.”

The Evidence-​based Prac­tice cen­tre esti­mates that over 5 mil­lion episodes of acute oti­tis media occur each year in the US at a cost of approx­i­mately $3 bil­lion. In the United States it is rou­tine to use antibi­otics as a first treat­ment approach. This is in con­trast to other coun­tries, such as the Nether­lands, where the stan­dard prac­tice is to use “watch­ful wait­ing” for one to two days after the onset of an ear infec­tion in chil­dren over two years of age. In these coun­tries antibi­otic use is only called for if the infec­tion fails to improve dur­ing that time. Because of the dif­fer­ence in antibi­otic usage between the US and the Nether­lands, the rate of bac­te­r­ial resis­tance in the Nether­lands is about 1 per­cent, com­pared with the US aver­age of around 25 per­cent. This indi­cates that the US uses antibi­otics more than other coun­tries. Addi­tion­ally, not only is antibi­otic use pos­si­bly unwar­ranted, but ques­tion­able in their effectiveness.

Ran­dom Article

Med­scape reported on July 2, 2000 that errors in med­ica­tion for chil­dren are cre­at­ing a grow­ing prob­lem. The arti­cle states that the

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