People are hesitant to prescribe antibiotics because they wipe out all bacteria, both good and bad. Using antibiotics early could reduce the risk of sepsis in elderly patients who have urinary tract infections (UTI).

Using Antibiotics Early Could Reduce the Risk of Sepsis

Using Antibiotics Early Could Reduce the Risk of Sepsis


This discovery is from the Imperial College London and Public Health England and published in BMJ.

The researchers say the results from the study show evidence that helps doctors make clinical decisions about when to prescribe antibiotics.

The team looked at records from 157,264 patients over the age of 65 in England who have had a UTI. 87% of patients had been prescribed antibiotics right away, 6% were delayed up to a week, and 7% didn’t get antibiotics at all.

Only 0.2% of patients who got antibiotics right away developed sepsis within 60 days. Patients who had their antibiotics delayed or didn’t get any at all were eight times more likely to develop it.

Research also showed that 1.6% of patients who got medicine right away died within the following 60 days. Risk of death for patients who had their prescription delayed increased by 16%. Patients who didn’t have any medicine had over double the risk of death.

The researchers stress that the study only shows delayed antibiotics are connected with an increased risk of sepsis and death. It doesn’t cause it directly. There could be other factors included in their risk of sepsis.

Read more about the study here.