The impact of antimicrobial resistance on modern medicine
Sep 30, 2021
Published in: JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance, Volume 3, Issue 4 (December 2021). doi: 10.1093/jacamr/dlab171
Posted on RAND.org on December 03, 2021
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest public health threats at this time. While there is a good understanding of the impacts of AMR on infectious diseases, an area of less focus is the effects AMR may be having on non-communicable health conditions (such as cancer) and healthcare services (such as surgery). Therefore, this study aimed to explore what impact AMR is currently having on non-communicable health conditions, or areas of health services, where AMR could be a complicating factor impacting on the ability to treat the condition and/or health outcomes. To do this, a rapid evidence assessment of the literature was conducted, involving a systematic approach to searching and reviewing the evidence. In total, 101 studies were reviewed covering surgery, organ transplants, cancer, ICUs, diabetes, paediatric patients, immunodeficiency conditions, liver and kidney disease, and physical trauma. The results showed limited research in this area and studies often use a selective population, making the results difficult to generalize. However, the evidence showed that for all health conditions and healthcare service areas reviewed, at least one study demonstrated a higher risk of death for patients with resistant infections, compared with no or drug-susceptible infections. Poor health outcomes were also associated with resistant infections in some instances, such as severe sepsis and failure of treatments, as well as a greater need for invasive medical support. While there are gaps in the evidence base requiring further research, efforts are also needed within policy and practice to better understand and overcome these challenges.
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