Differences in antibiotic prescriptions for febrile children in European emergency departments
A study published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases investigated antibiotic prescription for febrile children in European emergency departments. The study found that about a third of the children who show up with fever but no other illness were prescribed antibiotics. The prescribing frequency ranged from 19% (81 of 428 children received antibiotics) in Switzerland to 64% (450 of 708) in Turkey. Countries with high antibiotic prescription rate also prescribed second-line antibiotics more often. Fever is one the most common causes of emergency department visits in children, however the vast majority of upper respiratory tract infections are caused by viruses and are self-limiting. Antibiotic overuse in children has become a common problem and can lead to unnecessary adverse events, treatment failure and antimicrobial resistance.
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