#AD A world without antibiotics #JointheFight

“This blog has been paid for by and created in partnership with Pfizer UK”.

Can you imagine a world without antibiotics? One where even the most routine operation becomes dangerous and possibly fatal. As you know, I underwent a hip arthroscopy in mid-October. A routine keyhole operation, less than two hours, but one which will change my life and enable me to move without pain. I cannot even begin to imagine the thought of not being able to have that operation due to the risks involved if so-called superbugs develop a resistance to antibiotics.

One of the biggest threats to public health today is the rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR), or superbugs. Antibiotics have saved the lives of millions of people since they were first discovered. Sadly though, a world where people die from treatable infections or routine operations could be closer than we think. AMR arises when the micro-organisms which cause infection (e.g. bacteria) survive exposure to a medicine that would normally kill them or stop their growth – creating the so-called Superbugs. Therefore it is the bacteria, and not humans, which become antibiotic resistant. This occurs naturally, but sadly the misuse of antibiotics both in humans and animals is accelerating the process. The World Health Organization characterises AMR as one of the biggest threats to global public health today. UK’s outgoing Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies said Superbugs “could kill us before climate change does”. This is a very real threat.

So what can you do to stop the rise of superbugs? Thankfully there are some really simple ways which we can help slow the rise of superbugs. Firstly, show your children how to wash their hands correctly. This will help to stop any infections spreading. I would like to think that most parents do this already! Ensure that your family’s vaccinations are up to date, including the adults. I have always made sure my children, and I, get any vaccinations that we need. It’s a great way to both protect from diseases and also stop the spread of them too. If you do need to use antibiotics, then make sure you take them correctly, following any instructions you are given by your doctor. Make sure that you don’t take antibiotics when they are not needed. If you just have a cold or a viral infection, then there’s no need for antibiotics.

My son is allergic to two forms of antibiotics and I dread him being ill. We follow all of the steps above to do our best to make sure that he does not need antibiotics. He eats a healthy diet, exercises regularly and makes sure he washes his hands incredibly well. My daughter on the other hand seemed to spend the first two years of her life having almost constant chest infections. She was always being prescribed antibiotics, because she needed them. The antibiotics brought back our happy little girl and they were necessary for her to enjoy life during those first couple of years.

One final thing you can to is to get the message about AMR out there. We need everyone to take action in order to win the fight against superbugs. Antibiotic resistance leads to longer hospital stays and increased mortality. As a parent, the last thing you want is for your child to be ill, but with the threat of superbugs, we need to be vigilant for the future. To find out more about AMR, check out The World Health Organisation’s website. Come and #JoinTheFight against superbugs and the scary prospect of a future with no antibiotics.

Date of prep: Nov 2019