Operations such as routine surgery, caesarean sections, hip and knee operations could soon become lethal due as patients in Gedling borough build resistance to antibiotic treatments.
This would mean once effective drugs could stop working, health chiefs have claimed.
Stark new data from Public Health England (PHE) that shows antibiotic resistant bloodstream infections have risen by some 35% from 2013 to 2017.
Despite the risks of antibiotic resistance, research also 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 throat, ear, sinus or chest infection in 2017.
Councillor Stuart Wallace, Nottinghamshire County Council’s chairman of the Adult Social Care and Public Health committee, said the PHE’s ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign alerted people to the fact that taking antibiotics encourages harmful bacteria that live inside you to become resistant which means antibiotics may not work when you really need them.
Coun Wallace said: “Antibiotics play a critical role in preventing infections that can be a consequence of surgery and cancer treatment.
“The ‘Keep Antibiotics Working’ campaign educates the public about the risks of antibiotic resistance and urges the public to tackle antibiotics resistance by listening to their GP, pharmacist or nurse’s advice and only take antibiotics when necessary.
“Taking antibiotics just in case may seem like a harmless act but it can have grave consequences for you and your family’s health in the future.”
The 35% increase in bloodstream infections has seen numbers rise from 12,250 in 2013 to 16,504 in 2017
Senior health professionals have commented that if swift action is not taken, we are at risk of putting medicine back in the dark ages – to an age where common procedures we take for granted could become too dangerous to perform and treatable conditions become life threatening.
More than 9 million surgical procedures are performed in England each year and it is estimated that approximately >one in three surgical procedures (3 million) require antibiotics to be given prior to or during surgery to prevent infections.
“In addition antibiotics are required for many cancer patients because cancer and chemotherapy reduce the ability of our immune systems to fight infections.
Coun Wallace added: “Health professionals have made great efforts in recent years to reduce prescribing rates of antibiotics. This is not just an issue for doctors and nurses, the public have a huge role to play as well, and this new data must be a wake-up call for all of us.
“Patients need to understand if their doctor doesn’t prescribe antibiotics it’s because they genuinely believe they are not the most appropriate course of treatment.”