Antimicrobial Resistance Poses Grave ThreatEditor's Choice
Main Category: Pharmacy / Pharmacist
Also Included In: Public Health
Article Date: 11 Mar 2013 - 12:00 PDT
Antimicrobial Resistance Poses Grave Threat
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The topic of antimicrobial resistance needs to be addressed - in 20 years it could result in death following minor surgery - according to the annual report by the Chief Medical Officer in the England.
The warning comes as a part of the report giving an extensive overview of the antimicrobial resistance threat and infectious diseases.
The report calls for politicians to treat this danger as seriously as MRSA and it emphasizes that few antibiotics have been developed in the last two decades.
Over the past 30 years, each year a new infectious disease has been found. Recently, few antibiotics have been developed, threatening people's defenses as diseases progress and become resistant to drugs that are in use.
Additionally, the report encourages the development of new drugs as well as monitoring the current antibiotics. This implies better hygiene practices to reduce the incidence of infections, as well as making sure that antibiotics are only prescribed when absolutely necessary.
The Chief Medical Officer points out that more work is needed to address the next generation of healthcare-associated infections, such as pneumonia-causing klebsiella - that could be more difficult to treat.
Some of the recommendations the report made include:
- A call for antimicrobial resistance to be on the national risk register and seriously addressed by politicians around the world - including the World Health Organization and the G8.
- Improved surveillance across the NHS (National Health Service) and internationally to monitor the situation.
- More collaboration between the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries to maintain current drugs and encourage the development of new antibiotics.
- Better hygiene methods should be used when treating the next generation of healthcare-associated infections like new types of harder to treat klebsiella.
"Antimicrobial resistance poses a catastrophic threat. If we don't act now, any one of us could go into hospital in 20 years for minor surgery and die because of an ordinary infection that can't be treated by antibiotics. And routine operations like hip replacements or organ transplants could be deadly because of the risk of infection. That's why governments and organizations across the world, including the World Health Organization and G8, need to take this seriously.
The Department of Health will soon release the UK Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy and will aim to:
- Emphasize the responsible use of antibiotics - ensuring NHS staff possess the skills, training, and knowledge to prescribe and give antibiotics accurately.
- Improve surveillance - strengthening the recording of data on the numbers of antibiotics given and trends in resistance - in an effort to help decrease the level of resistance and help make certain patients respond to treatments.
- Urge the development of new diagnostics, therapeutics and antibiotics - by continuing to support the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI).
Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, talks about infections and antimicrobial resistance
Written by Kelly Fitzgerald
Copyright: Medical News Today
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19 Jun. 2013. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/257494.php>
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