November 16, 2016

European Antibiotic Awareness Day 

Promote appropriate antibiotic use in European intensive care units 

November 18th 2016

Infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria continue to have an increasing impact on patient care in European intensive care units (ICUs). These multidrug-resistant infections require treatment with multiple, often toxic antibiotics, which cause patients to remain in the ICU and the hospital for longer periods of time, suffer poorer outcomes and the related costs of this treatment place a significant burden on hospitals and society at large.
European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is an initiative coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Since 2008, each year on 18 November, EAAD provides an opportunity to stress the importance of the appropriate use of antibiotics as well as raise awareness about the threat of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. To support this initiative, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is organising its second World Antibiotic Awareness Week from 14-20 November.
Given that patients in the ICU are among the most vulnerable and at increased risk for multidrug resistant infections, the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) and the ESICM Infection Section strongly support EAAD and feel that this important message and should be heard and shared by all healthcare workers in ICUs in Europe and beyond.

How intensivists play a key role in the appropriate use of antibiotics:

  • By reducing, whenever possible, the duration of antibiotic treatment and unnecessary use of broad-spectrum antibiotics
  • By avoiding to use antibiotics for non-infectious diseases
  • By promoting use of optimal doses of antibiotics
  • By informing patients and their families about the relationship between antibiotic use and the development of antibiotic resistance
  • By promoting appropriate antibiotic use among all healthcare workers in the ICU as well as their peers 

Join us on Social Media during World Antibiotic Awareness Week & show your support of this important initiative: 
 #EAAD (European) #AntibioticResistance (Global) 

Let us know: 


European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) provides a focus for national campaigns on prudent antibiotic use, for the engagement of professionals and for communication capacity development. EAAD also provides support to European countries by developing evidence-based key messages and materials for different target audiences, including messages and template materials for medical doctors (hospital prescribers and primary care prescribers). These materials are provided for adaptation at national and local level. They are translated in all European Union official languages and made available from the EAAD website.

For more information about initiatives from the Infection Section, visit

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