Valley Health raises awareness on antibiotic use

This week Valley Health is recognizing Get Smart about Antibiotics Week to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and appropriate usage.

Kari Gordon, a pharmacist and antimicrobial stewardship pharmacist at Warren Memorial Hospital, volunteered to coordinate an educational week for all Valley Health facilities in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Get Smart about Antibiotics Week.

She said this is the first year Valley Health has conducted a coordinated week of education on antibiotic use.

She said the program is about keeping everybody informed about antibiotic use and overuse.

“So we want everybody to understand that not every illness can be treated effectively with antibiotics and that the overuse can actually lead to resistance, so we are having a more difficult time treating infection because of the overuse that has occurred over time,” she said.

Antibiotics can’t treat viral infections, such as colds, runny noses, the flu or most sore throats, but there are ways to soothe symptoms at home, which include rest, drinking plenty of water, using a clean humidifier or cool mist vaporizer, avoiding smoking and other pollutants, taking pain reliever to reduce fever and using saline nasal spray or drops.

Valley Health is also getting the word out to staff about proper antibiotic use, “making sure that we’re not contributing to any type of pattern that can cause resistance for our local community.”

Contact staff writer Kaley Toy at 540-465-5137 ext. 176, or ktoy@nvdaily.com