Davies vet who helped devise PROTECT ME acronym urges industry to support Antimicrobial Awareness Week - Veterinary Practice
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Davies vet who helped devise PROTECT ME acronym urges industry to support Antimicrobial Awareness Week

World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is a critical initiative to remind of the importance of embracing the responsible use of antimicrobials

A vet at Davies Veterinary Specialists (Davies) who led the development of the SAMSOC/BSAVA PROTECT Antibiotic Scheme (now known as PROTECT ME), is urging the veterinary industry to do their bit to support European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November and World Antimicrobial Awareness Week from 18-24 November 2020. PROTECT ME is now used worldwide to champion the cause of responsible antimicrobial use.

Ian Battersby, RCVS and EBVS European Veterinary Specialist in Small Animal Internal Medicine and Head of Internal Medicine at the Linnaeus-owned Davies, thought of the initial acronym back in 2011 when he needed antibiotics for a hand injury.

PROTECT ME stands for:

  • Prescribe only when necessary
  • Reduce prophylaxis
  • Offer other options
  • Treat effectively
  • Employ narrow spectrum
  • Cure appropriately
  • Tailor your practice policy
  • Monitor
  • Educate others

“I discussed the issue of restricted prescribing with my Doctor when he was treating my injury back in 2011,” said Ian. “Discussion on the Small Animal Medicine Society (SAMSOC) forum followed and then we developed a working group. I came up the name PROTECT when I was in the shower one day experimenting with acronyms on the shower cubicle wall! Collaboration with BSAVA enabled the scheme to launch in 2012 and then BEVA adapted the scheme and added the ME.”

PROTECT ME is now used for BSAVA and BEVA’s antimicrobial resources and campaigns and has also been taken up in New Zealand and been translated into French.

Ian continues to champion the cause of antimicrobial resistance as the infection control clinical lead for Linnaeus, pushing for excellence in antimicrobial stewardship across the group.

Rachael McGregor Clinical Director at the Linnaeus-owned Calder Vets in Yorkshire asked Ian for help in developing antimicrobial stewardship guidelines for the practice last year. She said: “Ian helped us to set up prescribing guidelines using a traffic light system, supported a programme of CPD and supplied prescribing posters. This has made a significant difference to prescribing behaviour across the practice and over the past two months we haven’t prescribed a single critically important antibiotic.”

Ian believes World Antimicrobial Awareness Week is a critical annual initiative to remind the veterinary profession of the importance of embracing the responsible use of antimicrobials wherever possible to protect them for future needs.

“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest threats of our time and it affects all sectors of the veterinary profession, said Ian. “While there will always remain a need for the use of antimicrobials for the treatment of bacterial infections It is the duty of every one of us to continue our good work to protect their usage to ensure they remain effective for the future.”

Davies has produced a range of resources for vets and for pet owners including an explanatory poster and a webinar series.

Davies is open and continues to support referring practices and patients.

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