I came across a leaflet recently, sitting at the coffee shop of our local A&E department coffee shop. It prompted me to take action for my family.
I’m not a medical professional, so this is my opinion, and in no way substitutes medical advice of any kind. Consult your own GP if required.
What the leaflet outlined, was how antibiotic resistance is a huge threat to our society. It is something that affects all of us, as overuse and taking antibiotics improperly, has meant even basic operations, infections and animal health are affected, as without antibiotics that actually work, any routine infection will become dangerous to us.
To help slow up the resistance to antibiotics, their daily use needs to reduce. There have been no new antibiotics introduced for decades, and that doesn’t project a healthy future for their continued success.
The only way to do this, is by education. Too many of us still think, that any illness can be cured – if only we can get our doctor to prescribe a pill for us. Antibiotics treat bacterial infection, which many of us would have died young from, a couple of generations ago.
To show support, you can become an antibiotic guardian yourself. All you have to do is visit the Antibiotic Guardian website, and make a pledge yourself, then inform people, when the need arises, of the dangers we all face.
It’s about one simple pledge, outlining how we can make better use of antibiotics, and help stop the medicine become totally useless for us all.
I pledged the following:
If I’m prescribed antibiotics, I will take them exactly as prescribed and never share them with others.
It’s very important to keep taking any antibiotics that we are prescribed, as cutting the dose short, means they lose effectiveness. The leaflet said it all, when it mentioned how bacteria are fighting back, to reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.
Phone for advice if you are not sure how urgent the symptoms are.
Public Health England says, you should get help from a GP if:
1. If you develop a severe headache and are sick.
2. If your skin is very cold or has a strange colour, or you develop an unusual rash.
3. If you feel confused or have slurred speech or are very drowsy.
4. If you have difficulty breathing. Signs that suggest breathing problems can include: o breathing quickly o turning blue around the lips and the skin below the mouth o skin between or above the ribs getting sucked or pulled in with every breath.
5. If you develop chest pain.
6. If you have difficulty swallowing or are drooling.
7. If you cough up blood.
8. If you are feeling a lot worse.
Do you own research and do what’s best for you and your family, but at the same time, don’t neglect the symptoms that might indicate serious illness. We don’t visit GP’s for colds, but I know others who do. We tend to visit a chemist first, or call 111 for advice for simple colds, sore throats and the beginnings of ear ache.
It’s a judgement call, and call NHS direct for help, if you are at all unsure. There are some situations where it is better to be safe. I can only tell you what I would do. You have to make your own decision, based on the information you research, and make your own mind up.