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This content is taken from the University of Dundee & BSAC's online course, Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance. Join the course to learn more.
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Why is this global course important?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a global problem.

Lives lost from AMR: The damaging effects of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are already manifesting themselves across the world. Antimicrobial-resistant infections currently claim at least 50,000 lives each year across Europe and the US alone, with many hundreds of thousands more dying in other areas of the world.

The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance (2014) by O’Neill summarised the following issues:

AMR a global problem: There is considerable variation globally in the patterns of AMR, with different countries often experiencing a variety of major problems. Despite this and in contrast to some health issues, AMR is a problem that should concern every country irrespective of its level of income.

Treatment options limited: Although in modern, well-funded healthcare systems, obtaining access to second and third-line treatments may often not be an issue, mortality rates for patients with infections caused by resistant bacteria are significantly higher, as are their costs of treatment. We are seeing in parts of Europe an increasing number of patients in intensive care units, haematology units and transplant units who have pan-resistant infections, meaning there is no effective treatment available.

Global consumption up: Global consumption of antibiotics in human medicine rose by nearly 40% between 2000 and 2010, but this figure masks patterns of declining usage in some countries and rapid growth in others.

Overuse and misuse leads to harm: The use of antimicrobials, however appropriate and conservative contribute to the development of resistance but widespread unnecessary and excessive use makes it worse. We need to promote prudent prescribing.

If you’d like to take a closer look at O’Neill’s report follow the link in the See Also section at the bottom of the page.

Who is this course for?

This course is aimed at clinicians and healthcare professionals involved in delivering or planning stewardship programmes, infection prevention and control practices, public healthcare epidemiologists, leaders or policy makers in this area, public partners and anyone who wishes to learn about this discipline.

Antimicrobial stewardship, through a range of evidence based interventions, aims to improve antimicrobial prescribing practice to optimise patient safety and outcomes and reduce harm from resistance, C difficile and toxicity. This online course offers a unique opportunity for healthcare professionals and others to learn about this and support the implementation of this practice. Where possible we would encourage “local teams” to do this course at the same time. This will not only help the development of local communities of practice but allow your learning to be contextualised in your own setting.

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This article is from the free online course:

Antimicrobial Stewardship: Managing Antibiotic Resistance

University of Dundee