Organ transplant operations and cancer treatment could become ‘more dangerous’ as the rise of superbugs means powerful antibotics will only work for another ten years, a government scientist has warned.
A ‘whole swathe’ of modern medicine is under threat from increasing resistance to antibiotics fuelled by the overuse of the drugs, Prof David Livermore of the Health Protection Agency said. Intensive care, organ transplant surgery and cancer treatment rely heavily on antibiotics to treat infections in extremely vulnerable patients, he said. “This will become increasingly hard or more dangerous if we lose control against bacteria”, Prof Livermore said.
Prof Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer for England, also warned there could be a rise in untreatable infections following routine surgery because of increasing antibiotic resistance. The problem is being driven by the over-use of antibiotics in Britain and patients coming into the country after having hospital treatment abroad carrying new superbugs.