Drug resistance

Infection Prevention and Antimicrobial Resistance

hand hygiene

At the dawn of the antibiotic era, resistant pathogens were rare. Antimicrobial use permitted resistant organisms to thrive within treated patients, but it is the movement of resistant microbes between individuals, communities, and nations that has led to a world where all are at risk of an untreatable infection.

Thus any comprehensive strategy to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance must aim to decrease the transmission of resistant organisms – in homes, communities, healthcare settings, food chains, water supplies, and international trade routes. The key element is improved hygiene.

For patients seeking medical care, healthcare providers have a particular responsibility to avoid patients acquiring infections as the result of medical decisions and interventions. Healthcare-associated infections are one of the primary causes of death and suffering in hospitalized patients throughout the world, so infection prevention is rightly considered to be a cornerstone of patient safety.

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