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article imageThousands sign up to Antibiotic Guardians

By Tim Sandle     Dec 13, 2014 in Health
London - Across the U.K., over 8,100 healthcare professionals and some 3,600 members of the public have pledged to do their own part to help reduce antibiotic resistance by becoming “antibiotic guardians.”
Antimicrobial resistance describes the ability of a micro- organism to resist the action of antimicrobial drugs. It is increasingly becoming a major worldwide problem. Since the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s antimicrobial medicines, such as antibiotics, have become essential for the treatment of many microbial infections in humans and animals.
However, people face the very real risk of a future without antibiotics. The implications of this are that life expectancy could fall due to people dying from diseases that are readily treatable today. One concern for the future is the re- emergence of diseases that are ‘officially’ extinct, such as tuberculosis (a disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis).
To help spread the word about this serious state of affairs, Public Health England has launched a campaign called “Antibiotic Guardian”. The lead message on the campaign website reads:
“Why it is relevant to you: Without effective antibiotics many routine treatments will become increasingly dangerous. Setting broken bones, basic operations, even chemotherapy all rely on access to antibiotics that work.”
Included among the 8,189 healthcare professionals who have signed up are pharmacy teams. The leading pledge chosen by the pharmacy teams was when giving a patient their medicines the teams said that they would ensure that they would talk to the patient about how to take them and why this is important. Here, taking medicines at regular intervals throughout the day is important as it ensures that the right amount of antibiotic is around the infection all the time. In addition, reminding patients not to share antibiotics or re-use them at a later date is seen as a key message.
In addition to pharmacists and nurses, some 3,644 members of the public have made pledges. This is seen as important in order to help make changes in the way people ask for medications and in the way that they use them.
By 2015 the organizers aim to have 100,000 Antibiotic Guardians signed up.
More about Antibiotics, Bacteria, antimicrobials, Hospitals
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