Highlighting Low Antibiotic Exposure in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Practicing Integrative Medicine: IVAA’s Spotlight Ahead of World AMR Awareness Week 2023 

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Date: 16 November 2023

A recently published study on antibiotic usage in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) of the Filderklinik, an integrative medicine hospital in Southern Germany, highlights the added value of Anthroposophic Medicine in addressing infectious diseases. As we approach the World AMR Awareness Week (WAAW), the study underscores the added value of integrative medicine in diversifying strategies for combating Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).

World AMR Awareness Week, held annually from November 18th to 24th, serves as a rallying point for global efforts to raise awareness about the prevention of AMR. This year’s theme emphasizes collaboration in “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together“, reflecting on the ongoing collaborative efforts and commitments across all healthcare sectors. Reducing antibiotic use is a key step in preventing AMR.

The retrospective analysis aimed at identifying antibiotic usage patterns, comparing these with local and international data, assessing morbidity and outcomes in neonates with infections, and delineating the use and safety of complementary medicinal products. The study revealed very low antibiotic use in the context of integrative medicine practice. Complementary medicinal products were extensively used for both infectious and noninfectious indications and were well tolerated. 

Dr. Jan Vagedes, the lead author of the study and head of Pediatrics at the Filderklinik, remarked, “The integration of Anthroposophic Medicine in our NICU helps us in the management of sick newborns. We have a long-standing practice of using antibiotics as much as necessary and as little as possible which was confirmed in this analysis.”

While findings highlighted the need for future prospective studies to investigate whether the lower antibiotic exposure observed in this integrative medicine NICU can be directly attributed to the supplementary use of complementary medicinal products, this study provides valuable insights into the safety of integrating complementary medicine approaches in neonatal intensive care. 

AMR is a multifaceted public health concern that affects not only humans but also animals, plants, and the environment, and leads to significant consequences such as increased mortality rates and economic challenges. According to the World Health Organization’s “Global Research Agenda for Antimicrobial Resistance in Human Health” presented in 2023, AMR poses global risks to the health of humans, animals, and ecosystems. 

* Image source: Filderklinik


Antibiotic Use in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Practicing Integrative Medicine—A Retrospective Analysis

Jan Vagedes, Benedikt M. Huber, Mohammad Oli Al Islam, Katrin Vagedes, Matthias Kohl, and Tido von Schoen-Angerer 

Journal of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, published online 9 Oct 2023, https://doi.org/10.1089/jicm.2023.0001

The European Antibiotics Awareness Day

The European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD), a health initiative coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), takes place annually on November 18th, coinciding with the beginning of WAAW. The focus for EAAD 2023 will center on targets established in the recently adopted Council Recommendation on stepping up EU actions to combat AMR. These targets provide a concrete and measurable way to monitor progress and achieve goals related to the prevention and reduction of antimicrobial resistance by 2030.

About IVAA 

IVAA, or International Federation of Anthroposophic Medical Associations, promotes the recognition of Anthroposophic Medicine and its implementation in health care systems. Our vision is a world where the benefits of anthroposophic medicine are widely recognised, and where patients and doctors have ready access to complementary anthroposophic medicines and treatments that improve healthcare outcomes.