Health WARNING: Britain facing antibiotics crisis as 3 MILLION operations at risk | UK | News
MORE than 3 million everyday medical procedures could become life-threatening due to rising antibiotic resistance, Public Health England has warned.
Operations such as routine surgery, caesarean sections, hip and knee operations could become lethal due as patients build resistance to antibiotic treatments.
This would mean once effective drugs could stop working, health chiefs have claimed.
Doctors prescribing antibiotics for minor illnesses could promote more harm than good, causing patients to develop resistance to future antibiotic treatments.
According to a new report by the Public Health England, 16,500 patients in England with life-threatening diseases did not respond to antibiotic treatments, rising by 35 percent since 2013.
The report shows how patients are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, and how drugs are losing their ability to treat patients.
Researchers fear diseases will soon be resistant to all forms of antibiotics.
Antibiotics are used for one in three hospital operations to prevent infections, and are also given to cancer patients as chemotherapy reduces their immune system.
However, bacteria and pathogens could mutate and develop heightened resistance to any form of antibiotic treatments, also known as AMR.
Antibiotics resistance: People are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics (Image: GETTY)
Health officials believe up to 10 million people will die from AMR by 2050, according to the current trend.
Professor Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, said: “The evidence is clear that without swift action to reduce infections, 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.”
The Public Health of England report suggests 40 percent of patients expect antibiotics for common colds and flus.
Health chiefs have warned patients to only take antibiotics when they need them, as overuse could make them resistant to future antibiotic treatments.
Antibiotics resistance: The Public Health of England has warned drugs could lose their effectiveness (Image: GETTY)
Patients could die from blood infections if antibiotic treatments do not work (Image: GETTY)
Professor Paul Cosford, medical director for the Public Health of England, said: “We need to preserve antibiotics for when we really need them and we are calling on the public to join us in tackling antibiotic resistance by listening to your GP, pharmacist or nurse’s advice and only taking antibiotics when necessary.
He added: “In the not too distant future, we may see more cancer patients, mothers who’ve had caesareans and patients who’ve had other surgery, facing life-threatening situations if antibiotics fail to ward off infections. We need to preserve them for when we really need them.”
No new forms of antibiotics have been produced since the 1970s, and pharmaceutical companies are unwilling to invest in creating new strands of treatments.
Earlier this year, a man developed "super-gonorrhoea" after the the disease was found to be resistant to all forms of antibiotic treatments.