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Antibiotic resistance threat to patients : Research

16 October 2015 6:03


Antibiotic resistance could have devastating consequences for patients if no action is taken to halt the waning efficacy of antibiotic drugs, a study says.

The results of the research was published in an article in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases on Thursday.

According to scientists, rising resistance to antibiotics, which are routinely used to prevent patients from getting infections during and after surgery, is a disaster.

Up to half of infections after surgery and over a quarter of infections after chemotherapy are caused by organisms resistant to standard antibiotics in the United States, the research showed.

If the drugs lose just 30% of their efficacy, the study said, there could be 120,000 more infections and 6,300 infection-related deaths each year in the US alone.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, the director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy in Washington, who headed the research team, said in a statement that “this is the first study to estimate the impact of antibiotic resistance on broader medical care in the United States.”

“A lot of common surgical procedures and cancer chemotherapy will be virtually impossible if antibiotic resistance is not tackled urgently, he added.

In hospitals across the world, antibiotics are routinely given as a precautionary defensive measure to patients undergoing surgery and cancer treatment to prevent infection.

But now, they are recognized as a looming threat to health, because the drugs are losing their power to fight and cure serious infections, from tuberculosis to gonorrhea and hospital-acquired super bugs.

The study was based on clinical trials conducted between 1968 and 2011.

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