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DMC’s Banfield featured in Washington Post piece

Banfield

ELKINS — A new study shows that nearly half of women with urinary tract infections are prescribed the wrong antibiotics. Dr. Anne Banfield, FACOG, was interviewed by the Lily (a publication of the Washington Post) about the study which was published in the Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology journal.

According to the study, women in rural areas were particularly impacted.

“The proper use of antibiotics has become a much more relevant topic in the last decade,” said Banfield, who is the Director of Women’s Health Services for Davis Medical Center. “Antibiotics have been a sort of panacea for all things. They are effective in treating simple but potentially deadly infections and have been prescribed for a variety of conditions. We wouldn’t consider antibiotics for some of these conditions now.”

Banfield is a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Medicine, and completed her residency at Western Pennsylvania Hospital. She serves as a board member on the West Virginia Perinatal Partnership and is Co-Chair of the West Virginia Tobacco Free Families Advisory Council.

More research on the harmful effects of overprescribing antibiotics has been performed in recent years. In fact, DMC is part of a statewide Antibiotic Stewardship program.

In the interview, Banfield describes unique challenges women living in rural areas face. “Providers who work in remote, rural locations may not have convenient access to infectious disease-trained staff. Compounding this problem is the fact that UTI’s tend to come on suddenly and can feel urgently painful. Properly diagnosing a UTI takes time, but if the patient has trouble getting in to a doctor’s office, both the doctor and the patient might preemptively opt for an antibiotic. The problem, oftentimes, is the rush to diagnosis.”

Banfield sees opportunities to build on the research from the recent study including more focus on patients with Medicaid and what their UTI treatment involves, and a look into prescribing differences among providers based on the their demographics.

“We need more data to fix the underlying problem,” she said.

Banfield is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist, and is a Fellow of The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. She is the Director of Women’s Health Services at Davis Medical Center, where she has practiced for over 11 years.

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