Patients frequently present to outpatient clinics and community pharmacies with acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and clinicians have an important decision to make. Should they prescribe antibiotics? Patients may seek antibiotics as a quick fix to their symptoms, but many AECOPD are not caused by bacterial infection. Prescribing unnecessary antibiotics exposes patients to adverse effects and can increase antimicrobial resistance. But not prescribing antibiotics could delay recovery if the exacerbation is of bacterial origin … or worse, result in an avoidable hospitalization and death. Could a simple, bedside test empower patients and prescribers to use antimicrobials more selectively?
Guest Author: Brittany Schmidt, PharmD, BCACP
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