NHS patients urged to stop asking for antibiotics in television campaign


Four in ten E. coli bloodstream infections are now resistant to the most commonly used antibiotic, up from three in ten five years ago, meaning doctors have switched to back-up medicines that require longer hospital stays, Public Health England said.

The frequent use of antibiotics for ailments like coughs, earache and sore throats, that could get better by themselves, means that the life-saving drugs may no longer work when they're really needed.

Around 16,000 cases of vomiting bug e.coli - four in 10 infections - were resistant to the most common antibiotics previous year.

An example of the resources for practices, says: "Taking antibiotics when you don't need them puts you and your family at risk - take your doctor's advice".

Antibiotic-resistant infections cause about 5,000 deaths a year in England and health officials say people need to realise that patients are already suffering from the rise of untreatable superbugs.

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'Without urgent action from all of us, common infections, minor injuries and routine operations will become much riskier'.

The second outcome of the antibiotic resistance crisis is the risk it will pose to now routine medical care like surgery, the report says.

'This crisis is not directly obvious to Global Positioning System working in the community, yet GP's contribute to most of the antibiotic tonnage consumed by humans in Australia'.

Dr Chris Van Tulleken, TV and of infectious diseases doctor at University College London Hospitals, said through her work, she's seen first-hand what happens if antibiotics don't work.

As antibiotic resistance grows, the options for treatment decrease, and experts are urging people to take their doctor's advice.

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"It's scary. Antibiotics are not just vital for treating serious bacterial infections, they're needed to help with other treatments like chemotherapy", she said.

Patients are being urged not to ask their GP to prescribe antibiotics in a bid to fight against growing resistance to the drugs.


This comes after experts around the world warned of an upcoming "post-antibiotic apocalypse" where, in as little as 30 years time, resistance kills more people than cancer and diabetes combined.

The website says: 'Research shows that inappropriate prescribing is, in part, due to patients expecting or demanding antibiotics, without understanding whether that they may not be effective for their illness'. The public has a critical role to play and can help by taking collective action.

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