Itis approximated that over two million people in the United State ofAmerica get infected while in the hospital and about 90000 of theinfections within this category are fatal (Larsson, 2009).Furthermore, several vulnerable patients get infected while receivingmedical care in the nursing homes and healthcare facilities.Strategies put in place to curb antimicrobial-resistant infectionswithin the healthcare environments are always ignored by cliniciansand the healthcare providers. Studies have pointed out that theexistence of these regulations alone is not enough to deal with theissue. New measures ought to be taken to assist healthcare providers,who treat patients, to put the guidelines into practice that will seethe infections of antimicrobial resistance come to an end. It was inthis context that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) came with a campaign to prevent the Antimicrobial Resistance.The campaign emphasized on four integrated approaches, which includedprevention of the infections, effective diagnosis and treatment ofthe infections, wise use of the antimicrobials, and curbingtransmission of the infections from one party to another (CDC, 2009). It is structured to create awareness on the importance ofantimicrobial resistance and seeks to incorporate doctors, healthcareinstitutions, and the patients in the fight against antimicrobialresistance infections as well as the promotion of safe medical care.In this paper, I am going to focus on how the industries, patients,and healthcare providers contribute to the creation of bugs that areresistance to drugs as well as the steps that should be implementedin healthcare facilities or hospitals to prevent such resistance.
Contributingfactors to antimicrobial resistance
Varioussocial and administrative factors have been found to be majorcontributors to the rise and spread of the resistance although theprimary cause is as a result of the selective placement of pressureon the vulnerable microbes by the therapeutic agents.
Healthcareproviders in the USA and other developed countries have been linkedto this area. For instance, it has been found that most of the healthcare providers are fond of over-prescription on antimicrobialswithout clear indications (Karch, 2013). This practice has beenattributed to uncertainties in diagnosis, the absence of patientfollow-up opportunities, unawareness to optimal therapies, and thedemands of the patients.
Humanbehavior has also been attributed to emergence and spread of theresistance. The behaviors include incidences of self-medication bythe patients and also the cases where the patients fail to complywith the prescribed medication (Karch, 2013). Non-compliance is aresult of forgetting to take medication, premature discontinuation ofmedication, or inability to meet the costs of full therapy. Uncalledfor, inadequate, and bad timing dosing are some of the aspects withinself-medication.
Healthinstitutions have significantly contributed to resistance and areconsidered to be the breeding areas for resistant bugs. This is dueto the fact that health institutions deal with a number of patientsand, in most cases they are close to each other and treat thepatients using concentrated and lengthy microbial therapy.Drug-resistant bugs, in such a setting, may spread through a numberof ways, like the air and direct or indirect physical contact withthe infected person.
Theuse of numerous antimicrobial agents in the production industries hasalso contributed in the resistance complications. This aspect toucheson livestock and agricultural products raised commercially undermodified conditions. Studies have shown that the consumption of suchproducts has a high likelihood of spreading such resistance amonghuman pathogens. Participants in the research touching on this topichave explained huge risks. They are concerned that the rampant use ofthe antimicrobials in the agro-based industries can result into thegrowth of drug-resistant bugs which can be spread to people eitherthrough food or other products.
Stepsto be taken
Healthfacilities, as pointed out in the discussion above, provide abreeding ground for the transmission of resistant bugs. It is,therefore, necessary for the health institutions to adopt a number ofsteps to curb this menace.
Handhygiene is one of the practices that can be taken in relation to thisproblem (Marr, 2012). It is unfortunate to note that thoughclinicians’ recognize the importance of hand hygiene they do notadhere to it. It is, therefore, necessary for them to routinelypractice such hygiene prior to provision of medical care, the periodbetween unclean and clean medical activities, and after handling thepatient.
Healthfacilities also need to emphasize on the importance of screeningpatients suffering from communicable diseases (Marr, 2012). Thisshould begin by simple question touching on coughs, colds, anddiarrhea. It is from the screening that the clinician will be able toassess the risk level of the infection.
Healthfacilities should also provide personal protective gears for thehealth workers to protect themselves. Items like gloves, surgicalmasks, N95 respirators, and gowns are very essential. Other stepsthat can be taken include safe handling of sharp objects, maintenanceof a clean environment, and proper disposal of wastes.
CDC.(2009). Antibiotic/antimicrobial resistance. Retrievedfrom http://www.cdc.gov/drugresistance/index.html.
Karch,A. (2013).Focus on nursing pharmacology(6th ed.). Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
LarssonM, (2009). Antibiotic medication and bacterial resistance toantibiotics: a survey of children in an American community. TropicalMedicine and International Health. 5:711–721.
MarrJ. (2012). Guidelines for improving the use of antimicrobial agentsin hospitals: a statement by the Infectious Diseases Society ofAmerica. Journalof Infectious Diseases.157:869–876.