Prescribing antibiotics is one of the things doctors do most. But often they’re guessing at the right antibiotic, or even whether it’s needed at all, because it’s sometimes hard to tell if a patient is suffering from a bacterial or viral or respiratory infection, according to a story by Bernie Monegain. Viral infections do not get better with antibiotics.
A recent study by NorthShore University HealthSystem, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, found that doctors are often forced to rely on imprecise information – recent news reports, public health updates and their experience seeing patients with symptoms similar to those indicating respiratory health problems – when they’re deciding whether to prescribe antibiotics, often making the choice to prescribe them “just in case.”
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