Antimicrobial resistance is a big problem – Healthcare Economist

A paper published earlier this year by the Antimicrobial Resistance Collaborators in The lancet aims to quantify the size of the problem. The authors used a variety of data sources, including systematic literature reviews, hospital system data, surveillance systems, and other sources. The authors estimated that these data covered 471 million individual records, or isolates.

Using this approach, they found the following:

… In 2019, there were an estimated 4 · 95 million (3 · 62–6 · 57) deaths related to bacterial AMR, including 1 · 27 million (95% UI 0 · 911–1 · 71) deaths attributed to bacterial AMR were due. At the regional level, we estimated the death rate from resistance for all ages in sub-Saharan West Africa to be highest at 27 3 deaths per 100 000 (20 9–35 3) and lowest in Australasia at 6 × 5 deaths (4 × 3–9 4) per 100000.

How can we solve this problem? The first step is to make better use of existing antibiotics by using them only when necessary. The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) released a statement last week about ways to improve management of the antibiotics currently in our arsenal. The second step is to continue developing new drugs to help patients with antimicrobial-resistant infections.