Three million surgeries and cancer treatments may turn life-threateningDecember 13, 2018
Public Health England’s (PHE’s) English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilisation and Resistance (ESPAUR) report published in October highlights how more than 3 million common procedures such as cesarean sections and hip replacements could become life-threatening without antibiotics.
Without antibiotics, infections related to surgery could double, putting people at risk of dangerous complications. Cancer patients are also much more vulnerable if antibiotics don’t work; both cancer and the treatment (chemotherapy) reduce the ability of the immune system to fight infections. Antibiotics are critical to prevent and treat infections in these patients.
The threat of antibiotic resistance continues to grow. Bloodstream infections have increased, and the report shows that antibiotic-resistant bloodstream infections rose by an estimated 35% between 2013 and 2017.
Despite the risks of antibiotic resistance, research shows that 38% of people still expect an antibiotic from a doctor’s surgery, NHS walk-in centre or ‘GP out-of-hours’ service when they visited with a cough, flu or a throat, ear, sinus or chest infection in 2017.
The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign educates the public about the risks of antibiotic resistance, urging people to always take healthcare professionals’ advice as to when they need antibiotics. The campaign also provides effective self-care advice to help individuals and their families to feel better if they are not prescribed antibiotics.
The Ipsos MORI Capibus Survey, ‘Attitudes towards antibiotics, 2017’ was conducted between 24 January to 5 February 2017 with a representative sample size of 1,691 adults (aged 15+) in England only.