Treating skin infections with topical creams “lazy doctoring” – Dr O’Sullivan

Treating skin infections with topical creams “lazy doctoring” – Dr O’Sullivan



A study by the Health Research Council of New Zealand (HRC) shows that an increase in incidences of serious skin infections coincides with an increase of dispensing the antibiotic cream used to treat it. Dr Lance O’Sullivan says topical fusidic acid is not the best treatment for Staphylococcal bacteria and the health system needs to step up. Warning the following images in this story may disturb some viewers.

It’s no surprise to Dr O’Sullivan that fusidic acid cream used for skin infections like staphylococcus aureus is becoming less effective.

“This medicine this treatment is not the best treatment actually, topical antibiotics. If it is to be used it should be very narrow focused not widely prescribed and dispensed, so that’s a message to our whanau. The second message is to prescribers, to doctors like me which is, think very carefully whether this patient would benefit or whether you are going to increase the burden.”

The study shows that the resistance to fusidic acid has almost doubled to 30% since first measured in 1999, with Māori and Pacifika children particularly affected.

“It really does raise the question of how appropriate our medical workforce and our health service is to high needs communities with Māori Pacific children and families so yeah I think our doctors don’t do a good enough job to actually address that.”

Dr O’Sullivan is currently working on a project in Kaitaia around the super bug Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). He says it causes significant harm and can even cause death.

“It kills our people and it causes significant disease and it needs a real targeted approach to address it and I have concerns that fusidic acid and foban, those types of medications, are going to be heading in the same direction.”

Dr O’Sullivan says he wants restrictions around prescribing fusidic acid and that top-shelf oral medication should be the first port of call, instead of impractical ointments.

Source: Maori TV