A Spanish hospital uses 1940s/50s “vintage” comic style posters to raise awareness re the correct use of antibiotics.
guest post by E-M Lammas
Antibiotic resistance is a real and pressing public health challenge. An awareness raising campaign in a Spanish hospital aimed to address some of the factors contributing to resistance development by highlighting the need for prudent use of antibiotics in order to preserve the effectiveness of antimicrobial drugs; reminding staff that everyone has a role to play .
The campaign at the University Hospital, La Paz in the Spanish capital Madrid will, now, thanks to the Spanish Medicines and Medical Devices Agency (AEMPS), be rolled out nationally. The hospital’s Infection, Prophylaxis and Antibiotic Policy Commission was behind the initiative which was promoted via the Programme for the Optimal use of Antimicrobials (PROA). The campaign is aimed at healthcare professional prescribers to remind them of the key aspects of antibiotic use and the important role they, as professionals, play re the responsible use of antibiotics.
Structured around a series of key aligned messages with a central theme, the campaign is supported by 12 “vintage” 1940s/50s style posters, all specifically designed for this awareness raising campaign. The posters seek to remind professionals that antibiotics are a limited resource which, when used correctly, can cure many patients.
The 1940/50s was an important era for antibiotics. Although Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin in 1928 it wasn’t until the 1940s that the term “antibiotic” was coined. Hailed as miracle cures successfully treating many, heretofore potentially life threatening infections, it was also a time when antibiotic resistance began to emerge. Had greater care been taken in the prescribing and use of antibiotics at the time, and, indeed, since, we might not be where we are today with the rise in antibiotic resistance. With a growing propensity to excessively use antibiotics and with the effectiveness of existing antibiotics dwindling, it is more important than ever to emphasise to prescribers not to automatically prescribe these drugs and to individualise the decision making process.
While each of the 12 posters has a different image and key message, all of the posters contain the reminder “No less, no more – you decide!”; a message which appears on the bottom right hand corner of each poster.
The full range of posters – 12 in all, can be seen in larger format here.
Below are just some of the campaign posters’ messages:
“With antibiotics – routine is dangerous; your patient deserves your full attention”
“With antibiotics – treat your patient only for the strictly necessary duration”
“Severe sepsis or septic shock? With severe infections initiate antibiotic treatment quickly (within < than 1 hour)
“Need an antibiotic? Now? Why? – before prescribing an antibiotic do a detailed evaluation of the patient”
“What is causing the infection? be sure to get the required samples and ensure that they are sent to the microbiology service/department”
“Consult the hospital’s antibiotic treatment guide to establish which antibiotic is the most appropriate one to use as it [the guide] covers most instances”
“With antibiotics – don’t be on automatic pilot – re-evaluate the treatment every 48 hours and adjust as necessary”
“Thanks to you, antibiotics can continue to save lives”
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