The Associated Press reported on a study by a group of Pediatricians who studied 383 children with acute respiratory tract illness, ranging from infants to age 12. The study conducted over a one year period was published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Of the three hundred eighty-three children in the study, 293 (77%) did not receive antibiotics.
The doctors compared the return office visits for the group that received antibiotics with the group that did not. The results showed that 44% of those treated with antibiotics returned for additional treatment while only 29% of those who did not receive antibiotics had to return. Dr. Michael Pichichero, one of the authors of the study, concluded that while some doctors will prescribe antibiotics for nearly all patients with respiratory infections, “there is no scientific rationale for such antibiotic use.”
In spite of these numbers, a recent survey by the centres for Disease Control (CDC) showed that 86% of pediatricians in Georgia routinely prescribe antibiotics for bronchitis, even though such use is rarely justified. The CDC goes on to say that 42% of pediatricians surveyed prescribe antibiotics for the common cold which is caused by a virus and which antibiotics have no effect on.