Antibiotic prescribing for adults and children in Israeli emergency rooms

Raul Raz, D. Hassin, R. Kitzes-Cohen, E. Rottensterich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The emergency room (ER) is an important focal point for the initiation of antimicrobial therapy but there are few data on antimicrobial prescribing in the ER. The objective of the study was to describe antimicrobial prescribing in Israeli ERs and to compare patterns of prescribing between four different ERs in Northern Israel. The medical records of all patients who attended the ERs during February 2001 were examined. Those patients who were discharged home with a prescription for an antibiotic formed the sample. Paediatric data were only available for two of the four ERs. A total of 970 adults and 470 children attended the four ERs during 1 month and were discharged home with an antibiotic prescription representing 14.6 and 19.9%, respectively, of the total number of patients who visited the ERs. The most common diagnosis leading to an antibiotic prescription was respiratory tract infections (64 in adults and 90% in children). In adults, cefuroxime-axetil and amoxycillin-clavulanate (both second-line antibiotics) were the most frequently prescribed antibiotics, together accounting for 50% of all antibiotic prescriptions, while in children amoxycillin-clavulanate was favoured (58.9%). 'Viral infections' accounted for 22.5% of all prescriptions in adults, but only 2.3% in children. Otitis media accounted for almost half of all prescriptions in children. For some diagnoses, such as pneumonia in adults and tonsillitis in children, there was uniformity of prescribing among the different ERs, while for other diagnoses, there were large discrepancies. The ER represents an important source of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, and measures to curb inappropriate prescribing are urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-105
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Adult's emergency room
  • Antibiotic choice
  • Children's emergency room
  • Infections in emergency rooms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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