Antimicrobial use in Residential Care Facilities and Nursing Homes

Antibiotic treatment guidelines

Urinary Tract Infections
Respiratory Tract Infections
Skin and Soft Tissue Infections
Useful Information

Successive HALT studies in long-term care facilities (in 2010, 2012, 2013 & 2016) have shown that Irish Nursing home residents are prescribed far more antibiotics than their European counterparts. Antibiotics are most commonly prescribed for urinary tract infection (UTI), respiratory tract infection (RTI) and skin and soft tissue infection (SSTI).

These findings were echoed and expanded upon in an antibiotic point prevalence survey conducted by CHO-based antimicrobial pharmacists in HSE Older Persons residential care facilities between October and December 2020 (for CHO 1,3,4,5,8) which was expanded to CHO 2,6,7,9 between April-August 2021. This study found that:

A further study was conducted in a sample of HSE Mental Health residential care facilities by CHO-based antimicrobial pharmacists between November 2021 and January 2022 (CHO 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). This study found that:

Toolkit for AMS in residential care facilities (RCFs) toolbox

Multi-drug Resistant Organisms – including CPE

In October 2017, the Minister for Health declared a public health emergency in relation to CPE. This GP CPE toolkit contains a number of documents including guidelines for general practice, guidance for healthcare staff visiting patients at home, a set of facts sheets on CPE and patient information.

Safe Prescribing

Patients in nursing homes or other residential care facilities may be particularly frail or have other co-morbidities. Presence of polypharmacy, dysphagia, renal impairment and antibiotic resistance can be common. These factors are important considerations in selecting the optimal antibiotic agent and dosing regimen as they may influence the effects, side-effects and frequency of drug interactions of any antibiotic prescribed.

Reviewed March 2022

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