Raising awareness to keep antibiotics working

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NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Antimicrobial Management Team (AMT) has been helping to raise awareness of the importance of protecting antibiotics for future use.

Antibiotic resistance is a major public health threat.

Only 70 years after the introduction of antibiotic drugs we are facing the possibility of a world without effective drugs to treat bacterial infections. To raise awareness, European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) is held every year on 18 November.

Kayleigh Hamilton, Antimicrobial Pharmacist, explains: “Antibiotic resistance is set to rise and it’s predicted that in just over 30 years antibiotic resistance will kill more people worldwide than cancer and diabetes. It’s so important that the public knows this is happening and the steps they can take to cut the unnecessary use of antibiotics. EAAD and the UK’s Antibiotic Guardian campaign promotes the sensible use of antibiotics to help stop resistant bacteria from developing and keep antibiotics effective for the use of future generations.”

To get local children and families involved in antibiotic awareness, the AMT held a colouring-in competition in the children’s wards and neonatal and day surgery units at University Hospital Crosshouse. Children were asked to colour in a poster of an antibiotic hero capturing the evil bacteria and make a pledge to protect the future use of antibiotics. These lucky winners received a gift card and a selection box for their super efforts:

Abigail Meney, 10, from Ayr

Eva Lennon, 6, from Kilmarnock

The team also held awareness campaigns in University Hospital Ayr and Crosshouse, where staff members completed quizzes to learn about antibiotic prescribing guidelines, when it is appropriate to send urine samples to the lab for analysis and an ‘Escape Room’ style station where staff had to try and diagnosis common infections and decide if/when antibiotic use was necessary.

For more information and to make a pledge, go to www.antibioticguardian.com.