Antibiotic resistance growing out of control, routine medical procedures now deadly
by: Summer Tierney
Monday, July 22, 2013
As the so-called “season” of colds and flus makes this year’s debut, yet another reason emerges to avoid antibiotics – or at least be more cautious and discriminating about when and how to use them. The United Kingdom now acknowledges that the excessive prescription and subsequent overuse of antibiotics can have deadly consequences if doctors and patients don’t change their ways, and fast. As a direct result of such abuse, antibiotics are becoming increasingly less effective against potentially fatal bacteria. If this pattern persists, said Health Chief Dame Sally Davies, more people could die from routine medical procedures like heart surgery.
“Antibiotics are losing their effectiveness at a rate that is alarming and irreversible – similar to global warming,” Davies said. In the absence of a major reduction in the use of antibiotics, she warns that certain untreatable conditions may spread, while other difficult-to-treat infections like multi-resistant E-coli will take more lives. She suggests that doctors and patients must work together to combat this growing antibiotic resistance.
Patients must stop expecting or requesting antibiotics prescriptions from their doctors for mild infections and minor illnesses like coughs, sore throats and earaches, said Dr. Cliodna McNulty, a microbiologist at the Health Protection Agency. And doctors, too, should take extra care to help educate their patients about the consequences of using antibiotics.
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