Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi scores major win in fight against drug resistant infections

ABU DHABI, Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is playing a key role in the fight against drug resistant infections, thanks to its antimicrobial stewardship programme that has led to a reduction in antibiotic use, healthcare costs and hospital acquired infections.

The rise of drug-resistant infections has led to concern that hospitals could be less able to treat infections in the future, making minor illnesses more serious and increasing the risks associated with surgery.

In a recent report from the United Nations, the overuse of certain medications in the treatment of humans, animals and plants means that a new generation of drug-resistant diseases could kill as many as 10 million people a year by 2050.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the key healthcare challenges of our time. Unless we are able to slow the development of antimicrobial resistance, common infections and minor injuries that have been effectively treated for decades may once again become much more serious,” says Rania El-Lababidi, Co-Director of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s antimicrobial stewardship programme.

Drug resistant infections develop when microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses and fungi, evolve to live and even thrive, despite the presence of drugs intended to kill them. This has led to some antibiotics becoming less effective than when they were first introduced as well as the rise of infections that cannot be treated with traditional antibiotics.

“Drug resistant infections mean three things: greater risk for patients, longer hospital stays and increased healthcare costs. Since the antimicrobial stewardship programme’s inception, we have made tremendous progress in reducing the amount of antibiotics we use, while improving outcomes for our patients,” continues El-Lababidi.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has operated an antimicrobial stewardship programme since opening its doors to patients in 2015. Results published in the American College of Clinical Pharmacy Journal show that, despite growing numbers of patients being treated at the hospital, the overall usage of antimicrobial medications has decreased.

Through the antimicrobial stewardship programme, the team develop strategies to optimise antimicrobial usage across the hospital and encourage caregivers to consider the long-term impact of specific therapies.

The hospital also operates a two-week clinical training programme that provides healthcare professionals from across the UAE with the knowledge, tools and experience they need to establish similar programmes in their home facilities. The course allows Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi to share its best practices with the wider medical community, supporting the continued development of the UAE’s healthcare sector and improving patient care.

Source: WAM – Emirates News Agency