The Superbug Scare: Why Indian hospitals need to spur antimicrobial stewardship efforts
India is one of the largest consumers of antibiotics globally. The widespread use of heavily prescribed antibiotics contributes to increasing microbial resistance. Resistance for most pathogens has been reported to be significantly higher in India, with more than 50 percent of bacteria responsible for life-threatening infections described as drug-resistant. The risk of AMR becomes higher in hospital settings. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 7 out of 100 patients in a hospital are at risk of developing secondary infections, most of which are caused by drug-resistant organisms. This risk is much higher in LMICs. A recent surveillance study on hospital-acquired infections in Indian ICUs presented a disturbing trend of increased mortality (close to 38 percent) in patients infected with resistant bacteria. Other than adverse health outcomes, such infections also result in increased length of hospital stay and associated costs for patients.
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