Antibiotics awareness week 14-20 November 2016

 

This annual, global event aims to raise awareness of antibiotic resistance and encourage people to preserve the antibiotics we have to save lives.

 

You must have heard the news about antibiotics becoming less effective in treating infections, and you may have seen frightening media reports about antibiotic resistance. It is all true! In fact, resistance to antibiotics and the fact that we (and our children) may die of simple infections in the future may be a global threat that tops the threat of terrorism.

 

How has this happened?

 Antibiotics are so effective in treating bacterial infections that we use them often and not always when necessary.

In addition, we are beginning to realise that we have discovered all the antibiotics we could possibly discover, and that bacteria are very clever in adapting and developing resistance to the ones we have developed.

 

Why it is relevant to you?

 There is no doubt that we are on a fast track to…the pre-antibiotic era! The old days when people would die of simple infections and minor injuries!

A warning tale;

Kelly was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection by her GP. She was referred to hospital for antibiotics but not given a complete course. When her condition worsened, she returned to hospital at one point, her parents were called in to see her in the middle of the night as hospital staff feared she might not recover. Follow the link to hear Kelly’s story  ‘They weren’t sure I was going to make it’ – BBC News

 

Can we do something about this?

 As healthcare staff we need to preserve the antibiotics we have, and only prescribe them to the patients who really need them.

As patients, you could learn how to treat your symptoms of infections without antibiotics. And if you are given antibiotics, make sure that:

 

  • You only use antibiotics when they are prescribed for you
  • You finish the full course of antibiotics even if you start feeling better
  • Never use leftover antibiotics or share them with anyone
  • Help reduce the spread of infections by regularly washing your hands

 

Scientists are working hard to find new sources of antibiotics and new methods of killing bacteria. In the meantime, you can join us on the global move against antibiotic resistance and become an antibiotic guardian. Find out more on the following link: http://antibioticguardian.com/public/