Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is caused by antibiotics we use every day. As health care providers, we see it in our hospitals, clinics and society.

For Manitobans, this means an increased risk of infections caused by resistant microbes.

Antibiotics are incredibly effective at treating infections, when needed. Antimicrobial resistant infections, however, are more difficult to treat.

For our patients, and healthcare system, the stakes are high.

Manitoba healthcare professionals play a critical role in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.

It is estimated that up to 30% of antimicrobial prescriptions are not necessary.

Shapiro DJ, Hicks LA, Pavia AT, Hersh AL. Antibiotic prescribing for adults in ambulatory care in the USA, 2007–09. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2014;69(1):234-40.

We can do better.

Examples include antibiotics prescribed for viral infections, such as rhinitis or bronchitis.

This increases the risk of AMR in our patients, without adding benefit.

By taking a few extra steps to ensure our patients are only prescribed appropriate antibiotics when needed, we help our patients reduce the risk of AMR, as well as side effects such as C. difficile infection.

Even if an antibiotic is indicated, recent advances have shown that in some cases, shorter courses of antimicrobial therapy can be just as effective as longer durations.

It is all about using antimicrobials responsibly.

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