One action you can take today is to join the Antimicrobial Resistance Fighter Coalition and share with others your personal commitment to combat AMR. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
As the CEO of a healthcare system, ensuring patient safety and providing quality care are my key areas of focus. This includes reducing the risk of adverse events, such as hospital-acquired infections, and managing resistant organisms in my healthcare system. I want to enable the best possible outcomes for patients and employees while minimizing risks and costs, which is why I deploy rigorous infection prevention guidelines, advocate for strong awareness of antimicrobial stewardship and encourage physicians and partners to use smarter diagnostic practices. As the uncertainty around the financial and regulatory environment continues to increase, I need to work with all of my partners in the healthcare system to reduce costs and risks associated with AMR. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
As a hospital pharmacist, I know that inappropriate use of antibiotics can create life-threatening risks for patients and reduce the effectiveness of new and existing drugs. This is why I work closely with medical and laboratory teams to ensure patient treatment decisions are based on timely diagnostic tests that accurately identify infectious pathogens. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
As an infection control practitioner, I realize most patients don’t know that common bacteria, including resistant organisms that may be present on their own skin, can cause life-threatening infections after undergoing surgery. This is why I ensure careful adherence to patient skin preparation and other protocols to reduce infections associated with surgery or other invasive procedures. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
When I developed a simple fever for no apparent reason, I never expected to end up as a hospitalized patient in a life-or-death struggle against a drug-resistant infection. I survived my illness because the hospital precisely diagnosed the cause of infection and prescribed the right treatment. Today, I’m doing whatever I can to inform others about the threat of AMR. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
As a mother, I worry about my child’s safety in a world where antibiotics won’t necessarily treat infections. I teach him that good hygiene habits, like washing his hands, are important for staying healthy. Still, it’s impossible to protect him from every germ. When he does get a cold, I no longer insist that his doctor prescribe antibiotics because I now understand that antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, not viral ones, and that my son should only take them when absolutely necessary. I advocate for education on antibiotics because no parent should have to fear for their child’s life from illnesses that were once easily curable. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
As a microbiologist, I have an up-close view of the antimicrobial resistant bacteria that threaten human lives every day. My focus is to identify organisms that cause infection, determine if they are resistant to antimicrobials and confirm if there’s a drug that will work. Experts predict that AMR may one day cause more deaths than cancer does today. I am determined to not see that happen, and this is why I am always vigilant against AMR. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
As a specialist in infectious diseases, I know that even routine medical procedures can become life-threatening for my patients because of AMR. This is why I insist on ordering the right diagnostic tests to determine whether an infecting organism is resistant and which drugs will work, as well as ensuring tight adherence to infection control protocols. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
As a primary care physician, I see many patients with a fever who expect to receive an antibiotic. But antibiotics cannot cure a viral infection and antibiotic misuse contributes to the spread of AMR, which can be life-threatening for my patients. This is why I insist on getting an accurate diagnostic to guide my antimicrobial prescribing and why I support the efforts to combat AMR. Because all of us need to be resistance fighters.
We can ensure strong practices for infection prevention and control. Infection control prevents or stops the spread of infections in healthcare settings. When possible, taking action to avoid getting an infection in the first place will help protect you and your family and reduce the need for antibiotics.
We can effectively deploy the use of laboratory tests. Known as diagnostic stewardship – order the right test, at the right time, for the right patient – this will arm the clinician with needed information to guide therapeutic decisions.
We can collectively drive best practices around antibiotic stewardship. Driving strategies to improve the use of antibiotics will provide for optimal patient outcomes and preserve antimicrobials for future use.
Six things we can do to combat AMR:10
1. Prevent infection by regularly washing your hands and keeping up to date with vaccinations.
2. Prevent food-borne infections by washing fruits and vegetables and cooking food properly.
3. Understand that antibiotics only work against bacteria. They do not work for colds and flus which are caused by viruses.
4. Don’t pressure your health professional for antibiotics if they say you don’t need them.
5. Only take antibiotics when they are prescribed for you – and don’t use or share leftovers.
6. Follow your health professional’s instructions when you are prescribed antibiotics.
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