OPINION: Minor surgeries could lead to death in 20 years time

ImageJust when we thought we were moving forward in the medical industry we get the news that our system could slip back to what it was like at the start of the 19th century and even the simplest surgeries could lead in death.

Now, I have seen period dramas, and people do not look healthy. Most often when a character becomes sick, or get an operation they die of infection and this is just the sort of thing top medical experts have said could happen.

Today it has been reported that Britain’s health system could take a step back 200 years unless antibiotic resistance is successfully tackled.

The Government’s Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies has warned that the serious problem of microbes becoming more resistant to powerful drugs should stand among national critical risks such as terrorism and climate change.

The starting point of this tackle is likely to include tougher restrictions on antibiotics prescribed by GP’s.

The Independent reported that in Dame Sally’s report, published today, she said: “There is a need for politicians in the UK to prioritise antimicrobial resistance as a major area of concern, including on the national risk register and pushing for action internationally as well as in local healthcare services.

Antimicrobial resistance is a ticking time-bomb not only for the UK but also for the world. We need to work with everyone to ensure the apocalyptic scenario of widespread antimicrobial resistance does not become a reality. This threat is arguably as important as climate change.”

Although infections in British hospitals such as MRSA and C. difficile have reduced by 80% since the levels around 10 years ago, E. coli and klebsiella are the most common infection acquired in UK hospitals.

Around 5,000 deaths from bloodstream infections occur a year in the UK, half of which are due to drug-resistant microbes.

Now I am not going to keep myself up at night about this worrying but I do worry for the old and young, whose immune system often fails them in critical medical situations. I have no doubt that the UK medical industry will pull through this problem. They did in the 19th century, so why not now?


About hparr247

Glasgow Caledonian University journalism student who has studied at Stony Brook University in New York. Curious and amazed about the world, what it is up to, and its people.
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