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Mount Sinai South Nassau

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South Nassau Communities Hospital Truth in Medicine Poll Shows Improper Use of Antibiotics by Public

Overuse and inappropriate use of antibiotics is a major public health concern in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), making it more difficult for physicians to easily treat many infections.

Oceanside, NY, April 06, 2017 --( Some area residents say they pressure their doctors for antibiotics they don't need, fail to finish antibiotics as they are prescribed and improperly dispose of leftover antibiotics, posing a potential threat to local water supplies, according to a new poll of New York City and Long Island residents.

Use and misuse of antibiotics also varied significantly by age, gender and racial lines, the South Nassau Truth in Medicine poll of 600 metro area residents found.

"The South Nassau poll results reinforce what those in the medical community already know: there is a tremendous amount of antibiotic use that is inappropriate, dangerous and harmful to you and to society," said Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, South Nassau's Department of Medicine Chair and Hospital Epidemiologist who is also a spokesman for the Infectious Disease Society of America.

The poll results show:

· Nearly one third of area residents fail to finish antibiotics prescribed to them, leaving them at risk of reinfection or recurrence of their illness.

· Some 12 percent of respondents admitted to pressuring their physicians for an antibiotic even after their doctors told them they didn't need one.

· 10 percent reported using an antibiotic prescribed for someone else or offering their antibiotic to a family member or friend who wasn't feeling well.

· Nearly a quarter of residents said they simply flush unused antibiotics down the toilet, while 44 percent throw them in the trash. Twenty percent of respondents reported having unfinished antibiotics in their homes.

"There are already potentially deadly infections we can't treat because of overuse of antibiotics," added Dr. Adhi Sharma, South Nassau's Chief Medical Officer. "We need to stop overprescribing of antibiotics now before they all become useless. And we have to better educate patients to change the current mindset that a pill will solve everything."

Nearly half of poll respondents were unaware that overuse of antibiotics can lead to the spread of antibiotic resistant superbugs. "Many patients don't realize that their behavior with regard to overusing antibiotics can actually contribute to a rise of drug-resistant superbugs," Glatt said. "Life threatening drug resistance problems are very real."
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South Nassau Communities Hospital
Damian J. Becker

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