MRSA: the price we pay for pushy pill-popping

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Worried doctor
90% of doctors feel
pressure to prescribe
antibacterial medication –
Longitude Prize survey

No, we’re not invincible.

However often we make like we are.

Partying like there’s no tomorrow – drinking junk, eating junk, out late in freezing cold.

Asking for trouble, then wondering why we get it.

But hey, no probs. The Doc can fix it, right?

Miracle cures

Put you on the rescue medicine and you’re back in business. Antibiotics, yay.

You wish.

Like most of the time, antibiotics aren’t the right medicine anyway. But that doesn’t stop thousands of us strong-arming the Doc to prescribe some.

Colds, flu, tummy bug – gimme, gimme.

Right in front of the poster that spells it out.

Unfortunately, no amount of antibiotics will get rid of your cold.

But some of us keep on, don’t we?

Nag, nag, gimme antibiotics. We read about ’em on the Internet and we gotta have ’em.

So because it’s the twentieth pushy request in the same morning with no chance of peace – harass, harass, harass – the Doc writes it up against her better judgement.

One of the milder all-purpose cooking jobs, harmless in small doses.

Not a placebo

Mistake right there – but the kind of almost-abuse a lot of Docs are on the receiving end of.

Because chances are, the pills will get taken but not do anything – predictable.

So half of them get chucked away in frustration.

But deep down in the gut, the normal bacteria that are supposed to be there are suddenly out of balance. Because right alongside them, some hooligan bad guy bacteria already on their way out are grabbing their chance to change and mutate.

To get meaner and nastier.

WAS treatable by antibiotics.

NOW antibiotic resistant.

Uh huh.

Now multiply by the number of misuses of antibiotics that happen every day. Then multiply by the 650 TONNES of antibiotics that get used in agriculture ever year to keep food production running at 100 per cent.

Multiply by the days of the year, multiply by twenty-five – the number of years since the last antibiotic was invented in the lab. Lots of zeroes, right?

Lots of misadventure with every one.

But still nowhere near the 100 trillion bacteria EACH ONE OF US has colonised inside us.

Lots of opportunities to mutate, lots of resistance to develop.

What if antibiotics didn’t…?

So now one of us winds up in hospital because of an accident or because we need an operation. Surgical cuts, an incision for tubes – big worries about infection.

Because now, all of a sardine, MRSA pitches up – methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus.

Want to know how bad it is? The folks at University Hospital of South Manchester have a message for you.

Because, overnight, a whole stack of antibiotics won’t work.

And if you weren’t ever scared to death before about not washing your hands, it’s a good time to start now.

It’s the only defence otherwise.

Either that, or you’ll die.

But it’s not all antibiotics that don’t work, right? Surely not? Somewhere in the hospital’s line-up of wonder drugs, they’ve got to have a Get Out Of Jail Free card. They must.

Yeah, they probably do.

Except games with antibiotics are too easy to lose.

As fast as MRSA gets clobbered, Sod’s Law dictates the complication of c.difficile.

Nasty one this – clostridium difficile. A superbug like MRSA, but one that’s triggered by taking TOO MANY antibiotics.

Ever get the feeling we’re being warned NOT to do something?

We’re not doctors – so how the hell do we know what kind of medication we might need for something or not?

And we’re such cry-babies.

Always a pill for something, never a natural cure.

Time to get real

Which kinda means antibiotic resistance is Nature’s way of telling us to leave well alone.

Got a hangover? Go home and sleep it off. Got flu? Same thing – with plenty of liquids. And whenever you do something, wash your hands afterwards.

Because most of the time, unless the Doc tells you otherwise, you need antibiotics like you need a hole in the head.

Originally posted 2015-09-14 15:53:21.