Drug-resistant superbugs could make routine operations deadly within a generation

cancel2 2022

The rise of drug-resistant superbugs could make routine operations deadly within a generation, experts have warned. Unless immediate action is taken, death rates could return to the rates seen a hundred years ago as growing numbers of infections become resistant to our most powerful antibiotics.

Writing in a special editorial in The Lancet, leading health experts said modern medicine could soon face a 'dire setback' unless the issue was made a global priority. It is the latest in a series of warnings about antibiotic resistance which has raised legitimate fears that in just a few years simple infections may no longer respond to medical treatment, making routine surgery such as a hip replacement deadly. They are calling for improved protection of our current stock of antibiotics and better incentives for the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs. But with antibiotics liberally used in agriculture, and available over the counter in many countries, these efforts will be undermined without a united global effort.

No new class of antibiotic has been discovered since 1987. In contrast, a new infection emerges on an almost yearly basis.
Experts writing in the Lancet, including England's chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies, said: 'Rarely has modern medicine faced such a grave threat. 'Without antibiotics, treatments from minor surgery to major transplants could become impossible, and health-care costs are likely to spiral as we resort to newer, more expensive antibiotics and sustain longer hospital admissions.

You have to be crazy to be admitted to a hospital now unless absolutely necessary.