Jacobs Journal of Emergency Medicine

Appropriateness of Antibiotic Prescription for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections in Emergency Department in Bahrain

Published on: 2018-02-19



Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is a common clinical presentation to the medical field. Although it is usually viral and self-limited, antibiotics are still prescribed for a large proportion of patients. No studies have evaluated the appropriateness of prescribed antibiotics for URTI in adults in Bahrain.


The aim of this study is to evaluate the appropriateness of antibiotic prescription in adult patients diagnosed as URTI in a major emergency room in major secondary care hospital in the kingdom of Bahrain.


The study was prospective observational study, conducted in Accident and Emergency department. Three-hundred fortynine patients aging 14 years and above, who were diagnosed with URTI and discharged on antibiotics from emergency room during one month period were studied. Patient demographics, clinical presentation, and prescribed antibiotics were reviewed to assess the appropriateness of antibiotic prescription.


Out of 417 prescriptions, 83% of antibiotics were not indicated, while 16% only were an appropriate antibiotic choice. Duration of antibiotic was appropriate in 18 out of 48 patient prescriptions only. Cefuroxime axetil was the most commonly prescribed antibiotics. Prescription of unnecessary antibiotics was higher among male. No correlation – however- was noted between age and antibiotics appropriateness.


Antibiotics are unjustifiably overused for URTI. Antibiotics stewardship strategies are required to be implemented to decrease this high rate in emergency rooms settings.


Upper Respiratory Tract Infections, Antibiotics, Emergency