Antibiotic Availability and the Prevalence of Pediatric Pneumonia During a Physicians’ Strike

Crocker, Ken and Cramer, Benvon and Hutchinson, Jim (2007) Antibiotic Availability and the Prevalence of Pediatric Pneumonia During a Physicians’ Strike. Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, 18 (3). pp. 189-192. ISSN 1918-1493

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BACKGROUND: Antibiotics are widely believed to be overpre-scribed for pediatric respiratory infections, yet there are few data available on the effect of a sudden decrease in antibiotic availability on pediatric infectious disease. OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the prevalence of radiographically diagnosed pneumonia changed over a period of decreased physician access and decreased antibiotic availability. DESIGN: A retrospective study was performed which reviewed the number of pediatric respiratory antibiotic prescriptions over a period which included a physicians’ strike. The study examined whether antibiotic availability had been affected by the strike. Pediatric chest radiograph reports were reviewed for the same period to determine whether changes in antibiotic availability had affected the prevalence of radiographically diagnosable pneumonias among children presenting to a pediatric emergency room. RESULTS: While prescriptions for antibiotics fell by a minimum estimate of 28% during the strike, there was no change in the frequency of radiographic diagnoses of pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: Respiratory antibiotics appear to be available in the community in excess of the amount required to control pneumonia. A 28% decrease in antibiotic availability did not result in a significant increase in respiratory disease.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 12020
Additional Information: Memorial University Open Access Author's Fund
Keywords: Antibiotics, Chest radiography, Overprescribing, Pediatric pneumonia, Physician strikes
Department(s): Medicine, Faculty of
Date: 2007
Date Type: Publication
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