Huron Regional Medical Center

Winter 2017

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In this issue — Reflections on a Good Friend ............................ 2 Welcome, Dr. Bockholt ...................................... 3 The Power of Rehab ........................................ 3 Fight Back Against Superbugs ................ 4 Helping Hands for Healing ...................... 8 The Superbug Jesse Van Heukelom, MD BATTLE SUPERBUGS EARNED THEIR name because they adapt to their environment, becoming more resistant to medications traditionally used for treatment. One of the biggest reasons bugs become superbugs is over-prescription of antibiotics. "We have infections that are becoming resistant to common medications that are used to treat them," says Jesse Van Heukelom, MD, pediatrician and member of the Huron Regional Medical Center antibiotic stewardship committee. "We need to educate our communities about the importance of limiting the use of antibiotics, ensure people are vaccinated for preventable diseases and encourage proper hand washing." Resistance happens in more than one way. Using an antibiotic for too long kills off good bacteria, and using the wrong antibiotic won't affect the infection at all, but it could eliminate the effectiveness of that antibiotic when you really need it. "Think twice before you request an antibiotic," says Elliot Hinricher, PharmD, clinical pharmacist at HRMC and member of the antibiotic stewardship committee. "If your physician says you don't need one, trust that judgment." Combating Antibiotic Misuse in Our Community One of the first steps HRMC is taking is to offer penicillin allergy testing to patients in the near future. "Any patient who reports an allergy to penicillin will, with his or her permission, be given a skin test to confirm the allergy," says Hinricher. "Up to 10 percent of the U.S. population reports penicillin allergy, but only one percent of See page 4 for the Germ Challenge quiz and a chance to win a prize! the entire U.S. population is actually allergic to penicillin. If we find a patient isn't, that opens up more options for reliable and cheaper medication we can use if they come in with an infection." While HRMC's antibiotic stewardship committee is exploring next steps, the penicillin test is a good first step toward cutting back usage of those higher-level antibiotics. "We're starting to lose the ability to use certain antibiotics, with very few, if any, new ones on the horizon," Dr. Jesse says. "It's important that we cut back our prescribing of these medications when it isn't indicated, which is as many as one in every three cases." People will inevitably get colds or infections. If everyone does their due diligence and cuts back over-reliance on antibiotics, the development of new superbugs should be curbed. winter | 2017 a publication from your friends at Huron Regional Medical Center "We're starting to lose the ability to use certain antibiotics, ■ For more information on protecting yourself from superbugs, visit for-patients/index.html. Make an appointment at the HRMC Physicians Clinic by calling (605) 353-7660. Elliot Hinricher, PharmD CURBING ANTIBIOTIC MISUSE IS KEY TO THE FIGHT AGAINST DRUG-RESISTANT BACTERIA.

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