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Antibiotic Selection

Frederick B. Traub, MD
JAMA. 1967;201(10):783. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03130100081034.
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To the Editor:—  The article of Gantner and Laskowski (200:431,1967), entitled "Antibiotic Selection Based Upon Immediately Available Data," failed to take into account several important points.Many institutions are beginning to program computers for instant retrieval of laboratory data, particularly antibiotic susceptibility results. While information thus available is a valuable adjunct to our general knowledge of antibiotic activity it can not and should not be used to supplant judgment based on a knowledge of clinical and microbiologic principles of antibiotic action.Two serious errors are immediately evident. In the work sheet illustrated trade names are often used instead of generic names, and thus, antibiotics with identical in vitro activities are listed separately, eg, Ilosone-erythromycin, and Staphcillin-Prostaphlin.In the prediction report form, illustrating a report on a sample of sputum, nitrofurantoin (Furadantin) is classified as 98% sensitive. This could lead an inexperienced clinician to choose this drug although nitrofurantoin should


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