According to federal health officials, there are at least 2 million Americans who get sick because of antibiotic-resistant infections each year. They also expect that close to 25,000 of those infections will cause death — putting a tough number on a growing public health threat.
This release was the first time that official quantified the effects of organisms that many antibiotics are powerless to fight, according to The New York Times.
The number of these fatalities is a lot lower than some had estimated, mostly because officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took out the incidents in which there was a drug-resistant infection present that may not have been the cause of death.
Our New York City medical malpractice attorneys understand that doctors have long warned about antibiotic resistance. When the bacteria we deal with is resistant to antibiotics, we run the risk of returning society to a time when people can die from ordinary and everyday infections. As a matter of fact, officials with the CDC predict that about 100,000 people are killed each and every year because of infections they get in a hospital. Most of these inflections were resistant to various antibiotics.
Officials also believe antibiotic use in animal farming is contributing to antibiotic resistance in humans. As a matter of fact, federal officials believe that close to 75 percent of the antibiotics used for human patients in the country are also handed out to animals. Farming companies use these antibiotics to help to fight off sickness among the livestock.
Through the CDC’s Threat Report 2013, many of the antibiotics used in animals are deemed inappropriate and unnecessary. Not only is it not beneficial for the animals, but it puts us at risk, too.
The truth of the matter is that antibiotic use in the meat and poultry industry has increased astronomically in the last decade. Close to 30 million pounds were sold for livestock use in 2011 in the U.S., almost four times the amount used by humans. That means close to 75 percent of all antibiotics sold in America go to meat production.
While hospitals are taking precautions to help to stop drug-resistant infections, little is known about protection outside of the hospital, like in nursing homes, clinics and other treatment centers.
Also, antibiotics are treated as quick fixes — which aren’t always necessary. Many people either expect or ask their physician to prescribe antibiotics when they feel sick or when they have a common cold. Patients should understand, though, that antibiotics are intended to treat bacterial infections, not viral infections. And many times a common cold is merely a viral infection.
Antibiotic resistant infections, together called antimicrobial agents, are most likely to last longer and come with more expensive hospital stays, and oftentimes cause patients to die as a result of the infection.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
More Blog Entries:
Bigger Babies, Bigger Medical Risks for Mother and Child, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, August 30, 2013
Queens Medical Malpractice Claims Often Stem From Missed Diagnoses, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, August 13, 2013