Too many hospice patients are receiving antibiotics, and for too long, researchers say

Share this article:

Editor's note: This article has been updated from its original version.

The prevalence and frequency of antibiotic use among hospice patients is high despite little evidence of effectiveness, researchers say.

Investigators from the Oregon State University and Oregon Health & Science University discovered that 21% of hospital patients who transition to hospice care receive prescription for antibiotics upon discharge — although nearly 30% did not have any documented infection during their hospital stay. About 27% continue to use antibiotics even in their last week of life, a report in Infection Control Today noted.

A consequence that “often isn't adequately considered” is the unwanted side effects that antibiotics can cause, lead researcher Jon P. Furuno, Ph.D., told Infection Control Today. Antibiotics “may not work anyway” for terminally-ill people, he added.

The study was based on information from nearly 63,000 inpatients discharged to hospice care from the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital, from January 2010 to December 2012. Most of the study subjects were 65 years or older, male and stayed at the hospital for 7 days or less.

Study results appeared in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy on July 7.

Share this article:

More in News

Genesis, Skilled Healthcare merger to create huge long-term care provider with more than 500 facilities

Genesis, Skilled Healthcare merger to create huge long-term ...

Genesis HealthCare and Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. will merge to create a single long-term and post-acute care company with more than 500 facilities nationwide, the providers announced Tuesday.

Antipsychotic use tied to acute kidney injury, increasing pressure on nursing home ...

Older people who take antipsychotic medications are at a markedly increased risk of acute kidney injury, according to newly published research findings out of Canada. The study further supports ongoing efforts to reduce the number of nursing home residents on these drugs.

Family alleges long-term care facility banned them due to social media posts, ...

Family members of a Texas long-term care resident have sued the facility where she lives, claiming they were banned from visiting due to their social media posts, according to a publication covering legal proceedings in the state.