Sepsis and Antimicrobial Resistance

Today the Department for Health published the UK’s five-year plan for tackling antimicrobial resistance, but what does this mean for sepsis?

Here is a comment from our CEO Dr Ron Daniels about sepsis and the responsible use of antibiotics:

“At the UK Sepsis Trust, part of our mission is to protect people by helping to prevent severe infection and enabling the urgent treatment of sepsis whist helping to ensure antibiotics are used responsibly. Sepsis can occur as the result of antimicrobial resistance, and is the driving need for antimicrobial stewardship. Antibiotics are the only really effective treatment for sepsis; for every hour before the correct ones administered, risk of death increases.

But that is not the case for all illnesses, and this demonstrates the need to preserve antibiotics for conditions that really need them; nearly 40% of E.coli—the bacteria that causes a huge number of infections—are now resistant to antibiotics, and these organisms account for up to one third of episodes of sepsis showing the vital need for responsible use of antimicrobial drugs.

Globally, there are 30 million cases of sepsis each year and the global birth rate is 80 million. If we run out of antibiotics that bacteria are not resistant to, it may well tip the scales of population growth.”