There are brand new warnings being issued over drug-resistant “superbugs,” in which physicians around the world are claiming health systems may find they are struggling to just cope with infections. These contagions might end up undoing an entire century’s advancement of medical progression and make outwardly mundane surgeries end up becoming literally matters of life and death.
In a special editorial printed up in the British health newsletter, The Lancet, government doctors are warning that health organizations might just find themselves unable to handle the older population in what is being called the “post antibiotic era.”
There are real concerns that in 20 years or less, if a person enters into the hospital to have hip replacement surgery; he or she could easily come down with a superbug infection which could lead to major complications and potential death. This is because antibiotics will no longer work like they do right now, stated Professor John Watson, who is a deputy chief medical officer in England.
Experts warned that death rates could return to the amount seen from the early 20th century from the superbugs. They would be caused from bacterial infections and modern medicine has not seen such a critical threat toward the world’s population since that time period. If there are no antibiotics, any treatment from minor surgical procedures to major transplants might become impossible to even do, and health-care costs would be expected to spiral out of control. Treatments would be left to new, much more costly antibiotics and there would be lengthier hospital admittance times.
The over-prescribing of antibiotics has long thought to have been the chief cause of antibiotic resistance, due to pathogens having the chance to alter their make-up and fight against the treatment, therefore becoming a “superbug.”
In September, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC stated that over 2 million people in the United States had developed severe bacterial infections which were resilient to one or more forms of antibiotics given to them every year, and over 22,500 had died from their contagions.
For various organisms, it is showing up that there is a solid increase in resistance amounts, explained Dr. Thomas Frieden, who is a director of the CDC. He also said that there are no new drugs waiting in the wings ready to come out and take the place of the older ones. If there are any new ones discovered, unless there is a better job protecting them, they also will be lost.
The overprescribing of drugs and other procedures against antibiotic resistance must include better hospital hygiene and also give the pharmaceutical business reasons to work on finding new antibiotics and also antibiotic substitutes, which are also used in farming, fisheries and by veterinarians. All this also causes even more resistance.
However, the time has arrived for the general public to finally realize they need to take responsibility for their actions. Patient expectation needs to be altered. There must be more public education over that not every illness needs a pill to get through to get well.
Physicians must begin to try harder not to prescribe medication for everything when they are in practice. The patient may be displeased with such service, and is likely to go elsewhere, but he or she needs to receive the exact same treatment at the next place they visit. There has to be a united front with antibiotic delivery if this is going to stop.
Because if it ever reaches the point where the world is completely in a post-antibiotic stage, people with pneumonia will become untreatable from any antibiotics, and will end up dying. At least still at this time they are living.
Joanna Coast, who is a professor of health economics at the University of Birmingham, in Alabama, stated that the antibiotic resistance problem has the potential to upset how the entire health system works. It is unknown just how large this is going to end up being. It is like the problems that come with preparing for global warming. No one knows the future.
Much of what is done in modern health to fight superbugs relies on using antibiotics. A few examples are they are needed for prophylaxis during operations, and for cancer patients going through chemotherapy.
Leading authorities state that to meet all the requests without increasing even more drug resistance, medication companies have to find new and better ways of funding antibiotic expansion which is not connected to anticipations of hefty volume sales. World health experts such as the World Health Organization have also cautioned that international drives to lessen antibiotic use cannot hurt access to life-saving drugs in third world countries.
Superbugs are on the attack and causing more trouble than ever.
By Kimberly Ruble