Methods: A retrospective examination of adult patients who presented to the Strathcona Community Hospital emergency department (Sherwood Park, Alberta, Canada) between July and October 2015 with RTI symptoms (e.g. cough, sore throat, dyspnea). The primary outcome was treatment concordance to existing national and local practice guidelines (e.g. CHEST, Bugs and Drugs, Towards Optimized Practice). Secondary measures included reason(s) for non-concordance, diagnostics measured, and classes and volume of antimicrobials prescribed.
Results: A total of 282 charts were reviewed, 142 of which were included in the analysis; 91 (64%) were female and the median age was 37 years (range 18-97 years). Overall concordance to guidelines was 86%, driven by appropriate viral illness treatment (symptomatic relief only). Twenty admissions (14%) resulted in an antimicrobial being dispensed, of which only 3 (15%) were concordant with guidelines. The most popular antimicrobials prescribed were azithromycin (30%) and amoxicillin (20%).
Conclusion: There is sufficient practice of providing only symptomatic relief for viral RTI; however, there still exists a gap between ideal use of antimicrobials in respiratory infection and current practice.
D. Klemmer, None