Antimicrobial Awareness Week

Antimicrobial Awareness Week - 18-24 November 2020

The Clinical Excellence Commission proudly supports Antimicrobial Awareness Week (AAW), which is an international initiative held between 18-24 November each year.

We will be conducting a social media campaign via Twitter in 2020, check back here on each weekday of AAW to follow our patient's journey and to read more about the key message(s) for the day! Interested AMS teams are encouraged to contact for a media pack to utilise on their local Intranet pages during AAW.

AAW 2020

Priya is a grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren. She loves shopping for toys and gifts for her grandchildren and going for walks along Sydney’s beautiful beaches. The doctors suspect her cellulitis was brought on by an insect bite sustained during one of her recent walks at Bondi Beach. She is currently not feeling well and is sad that she won’t be able to see her grandchildren for a few days.

When treating patients like Priya, ensure you utilise evidence-based guidelines such as the Therapeutic Guidelines accessible via CIAP or locally endorsed guidelines. An assessment of antimicrobial allergy status should also be undertaken and appropriately documented. The following resources have been developed by the CEC in relation to antibiotic allergies –

AAW Day 2Priya informs the doctors that she has had recent history of anaphylactic reaction to penicillin. This means that the first-line antibiotic choice for cellulitis, flucloxacillin, is not appropriate for her. As per the Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic recommendations, Priya is commenced on IV vancomycin and her dose is determined considering her current renal function and actual body weight. Priya's doctor involves her and her husband in the decision-making process and explains the treatment plan with her. He also mentions that her treatment may be adjusted based on her microbiology findings.

Priya is anxious about receiving IV antibiotics for the first time. Her doctor provides her with the following information about receiving antibiotics in the hospital environment.

AAW Day 3

Priya is already starting to feel better and is surprised with a video call from her grandchildren that further lifts her spirits. According to her microbiology findings and allergy status, Priya must remain on IV vancomycin.

Priya's doctor is aware that in order to optimise dosing, plasma concentration monitoring is recommended for patients using vancomycin for > 48 hours. He consults the Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic (accessible via CIAP) and the local AMS pharmacist for advice on therapeutic drug monitoring and adjustment of vancomycin dosing.

AAW Day 4 After a few days of IV therapy, Priya's doctor decides it is an appropriate time to switch her to oral therapy. He has consulted the Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic 'Guidance for intravenous to oral switch' (accessible via CIAP) and sought advice from the ward pharmacist. Priya is happy that her cannula will be coming out and that she is able to be a bit more mobile around the ward. One of her grandchildren is turning three soon and she is keen to be discharged so she can buy her a gift.

The CEC partnered with Sydney Children's Hospital at Randwick to develop a leaflet for parents and carers about switching from intravenous to oral antibiotic therapy in paediatric patients. Similar resources may be available in your hospital for adult patients.

AAW Day 5

Priya's doctor is very happy with her progress and has decided that she is safe for discharge. Priya has had a chat with both her doctor and the ward pharmacist and is now comfortable managing the remainder of her antibiotic course at home. She has been provided with a Consumer Medicines Information leaflet (accessible via CIAP) and clear instructions on how long to use her antibiotics for. An antibiotic plan is added to her discharge summary to ensure her GP is informed. Priya calls her husband to pick her up. She is keen to drop by the local shopping centre on their way home. She will also grab some insect repellent to use on future walks.

Consumer Medicines Information leaflets can be obtained from the TGA website or on MIMS (accessible via CIAP).

Relevant Australian resources

The National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS)

The NAPS was developed by a dedicated research team at Melbourne Health to assist healthcare facilities in monitoring their antimicrobial usage. The lead up to Antimicrobial Awareness Week may be an opportune time for NSW health facilities to participate, so that the results of your survey can be incorporated into your campaign activities and materials. For more details, please visit National Antimicrobial Prescribing Survey (NAPS).

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC)

The ACSQHC develops a wide range of resources for Antimicrobial Awareness Week, including posters, fact sheets, presentation slides and other key items. For more details, please visit Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).

Relevant international resources

Many of these international campaigns develop their own resources and host promotional activities that may be of interest.

For further information or advice about promoting Antimicrobial Awareness Week in NSW public hospitals, please send us an email.