Norway Conquers Infections By Cutting Use of Antibiotics

Martha Mendoza and Margie Mason report on the AP via the Miami Herald:

Pills For CashOSLO, Norway — Aker University Hospital is a dingy place to heal. The floors are streaked and scratched. A light layer of dust coats the blood pressure monitors. A faint stench of urine and bleach wafts from a pile of soiled bedsheets dropped in a corner.

Look closer, however, at a microscopic level, and this place is pristine. There is no sign of a dangerous and contagious staph infection that killed tens of thousands of patients in the most sophisticated hospitals of Europe, North America and Asia last year, soaring virtually unchecked.

The reason: Norwegians stopped taking so many drugs.

Twenty-five years ago, Norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. But Norway’s public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. A key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics.

Now a spate of new studies from around the world prove that Norway’s model can be replicated with extraordinary success, and public health experts are saying these deaths — 19,000 in the U.S. each year alone, more than from AIDS — are unnecessary.

Read More: AP via the Miami Herald

8 Comments on "Norway Conquers Infections By Cutting Use of Antibiotics"

  1. emperorreagan | Mar 2, 2010 at 9:00 am |

    This just in: Doctors, use medical expertise to prescribe drugs. Don't give your idiot patients drugs they looked up on the internet, drugs they saw in commercials, or a drug just because they're sick and think they need something.

    • GoodDoktorBad | Mar 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm |

      Or the drugs that the lovely pharm-reps pitch at the banquets they throw for the doctors that prescribe them.
      This is very commonplace at hospitals and the reps are always sharp looking women or GQ looking dudes in some cases. Very slick folk….

      • .. and in spite of the level of education involved in obtaining a medical degree, doctors are swayed by their pitch. This is just one reason why I am convinced the deeper problem is a psychological one.

  2. GoodDoktorBad | Mar 2, 2010 at 2:13 pm |

    There is no doubt antibiotics can save lives for peope in immediate peril of deadly infection. They can indeed be “wonder drugs”. Unfortunatly, what could be the more honorable profession of pharmacology is fouled by the profit first mentality of salesmanship. The number of people that die taking prescription drugs purported to be “safe” is akin to mass manslaughter.

    I can personally attest to the benefits of NOT taking a pill for every ailment. Your body is a far better, completly integrated, specifically designed laboratory, far better suited to heal you in most cases than any external
    application of medicine. Often enough, suffering a while will allow your bodies lab to get to work. The best you can do for your body at that point is to give it the raw materials it needs to do the job. Good food and water, some exercise and rest will do the trick. Your immune system has just become that much stronger. Learn to suffer and you will be rewarded?

    • Hadrian999 | Mar 2, 2010 at 3:48 pm |

      just like Carlin said.
      Modern man embraces weakness at such a staggering level we cant have much longer at this pace

  3. Everyone wants a magic pill, they have been conditioned to getting just that. It will take some educating to change this.
    way to go Norway, we could do with this kind of attitude in New Zealad

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