Saturday, April 09, 2011

Superbugs should scare us... If we're joining the fight, lets start with pediatricians!

I read with interest and excitement this article today in the Jordan Times. It seems that Jordan has become concerned about drug resistant organisms. May I simply say, FINALLY! For those who aren't familiar, extensive (over)use of antibiotics is creating drug resistant strains of bacteria, viruses, and other nastinesses. The US has become increasingly concerned as they see higher incidence rates of people unable to be treated with standard antibiotics.

I've been concerned about this for years. In the US, I stopped using anti-bacterial soaps years ago. After moving to Jordan, I had to resume. The only non-anti-bacterial soaps on the market are direct imports from the US and cost 4 to 5 times as much as the normal soaps here... Sigh. In addition, I'm one of those crazy Moms who avoids antibiotics like the plague. I have had more than one Doctor here prescribe antibiotics for viruses (which they don't treat). Needless to say, those prescriptions don't get filled. I also wait what would seem like a long time before taking the kids in or asking for a prescription. If a fever isn't super high (101 degrees or higher) and doesn't last for a good bit of time (at or above 101 for a couple of days), I don't medicate. I'll use Advil or Tylenol to bring it down some once it pushes past 101, but before that, I won't even medicate that much.

So, I'm thrilled to see Jordan becoming concerned. However, to actually combat this issue, they will need a widespread education campaign. it needs to include Doctors and patients. I think many Doctors here prescribe antibiotics so that the parents feel like they're doing something. Instead, moms should be pushing back and asking why their children need them... That's what I do. I also go to a Ped now who knows my philosophy and will give me a "wait and see" prescription. These are becoming more popular in the US as well. The Doc tells you what medicine to give your kid if a) the fever increases or b) it doesn't go away. This is just about my favorite. So, kudos to Jordan for becoming concerned. And, to those of you out there who are unfamiliar with the issue, GET familiar. We're seeing increases in the cases of multidrug resistant tuberculosis. Scary indeed.

Happy Superbugs!


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