Millennium Post

10% of ICU patients don't respond to antibiotics

NEW DELHI: Nearly 10 per cent of patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU) are infected with pan-drug resistant bacteria, which are difficult to destroy with existing antibiotics, doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi have observed.
Anti-bacterial awareness week is currently being observed by doctors at AIIMS. And antibiotic resistance has been recognised one of the most urgent threats to public health.
During the awareness programs, it was noted that improper antibiotic use is a major cause of antibiotic resistance.
Addressing a public lecture, Dr Karan Singh Madan, AIIMS, said, "Most people are ignorant about the use of antibiotics. It has been found that people are popping antibiotics for fever, but actually antibiotics are meant to finish infection caused by bacteria not from virus. Meanwhile, people are getting resistant because of these antibiotics and intake of dirty water, improper sanitation and mixture of sewage water into drinking water also multiply the cause."
"The degree of antibiotic resistance is determined in the laboratory. But in practical situations, these are patients who have infections that are not sensitive to any of the antibiotics and have to be treated with a cocktail of antibiotics belonging to different categories," said Dr Arti Kapil, professor at the department of microbiology at AIIMS.
There are three categories of antibiotic resistance; pan resistance being the most difficult to treat, followed by extensively drug resistant infections that do not respond to at least one drug in all but two antimicrobial category.
The last is multidrug resistant infection, which does not respond to at least one drug in three antimicrobial drug categories.
At AIIMS, 60-70 per cent of all the infections in the ICU are multi-drug resistant. To reduce the use of antibiotics further, doctors at AIIMS are researching various point-of-care tests.
"Some infections like pneumonia can be caused by bacteria or viruses. Having a point-of-care test can tell the doctor immediately whether the person needs antibiotics, which are useless against viral infections," said Dr Randeep Guleria, director, AIIMS, Delhi.
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