POWER the AMRevolution

WHAT IS ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE?

What if water could no longer put out fire? What if, over time, fire evolved to outsmart water—raging uncontrolled to destroy everything in its path?

Now, imagine instead of fire, it’s germs. Specific strains of bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites that make people sick have adapted in order to avoid the antimicrobials (medicines such as antibiotics, antivirals, antifungals, and antiparasitics) designed to treat them. This is called antimicrobial resistance (AMR). These drug-resistant germs, also known as superbugs, are currently putting millions of people at risk of developing a life-threatening, untreatable infection.

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE: AN INVISIBLE ENEMY

While superbugs may sound like science fiction, they are a very real danger and can spread between people, animals, and the environment (through drinking water and soil).

ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE: AN UNKNOWN ENEMY

In 2021, an online survey was carried out among 6,330 adults living in the United States, Brazil, China, India, and Spain. Globally, only half of adults surveyed (52%) were aware of the term antimicrobial resistance, but fewer had knowledge of the effects of AMR. Learn more about the survey conducted and the findings below.

KNOW YOUR RISK

Who is at risk of infection with a superbug? In short: everyone. But AMR is hardest on people most vulnerable to infection:

  • Young children and people over the age of 60
  • People with underlying conditions like heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, kidney disease, cancer, and people with autoimmune conditions.

SEPSIS AND ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE (AMR)

Sepsis, the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection, is one of the most significant health complications that can result from antimicrobial resistance. Like strokes or heart attacks, sepsis is a medical emergency that requires rapid diagnosis and treatment. Sepsis can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.

How is an antimicrobial-resistant infection connected to sepsis? Antimicrobial resistance challenges the treatment of sepsis. As more germs become resistant to antimicrobial medicines used to treat infection, more people are at risk for developing sepsis.

A MAJOR PUBLIC HEALTH CRISIS

How did this happen? The answer is complicated, but two contributing factors are:

  1. Not taking antimicrobials as intended: taking them too often, unnecessarily, or not finishing a course of medicine. The more a germ is exposed to the same antimicrobials designed to take it down, the more likely it is to learn how to outsmart the medicine and survive.
  2. While superbugs have evolved, our antimicrobials have not. First widely used in the 1940s, antimicrobials (starting with the antibiotic penicillin) have saved millions of lives. But after this major discovery, there have been few new advancements.

Antimicrobial resistance means common medical procedures—dentist visits,
cesarean sections (C-sections), hip replacements, chemotherapy, and organ
transplants—will carry a greater risk of infection.


HOW CAN WE HELP TAKE DOWN ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE?

Taking simple precautions can help us fight back. Remember: the POWER to defeat superbugs is up to us.


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The PASTEUR Act: What is it, and how does it impact sepsis patients?

The PASTEUR Act is a proposed piece of federal legislation that seeks to slow and stop the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance. It would do so by encouraging the development of new drugs and protecting the ones we already have. For example:

  • The PASTEUR Act would establish a “de-linked” subscription model between the government and developers of new antimicrobials, encouraging research and innovation.
  • The PASTEUR Act would distribute grants to hospitals to support their efforts to carefully use the antimicrobials we already have. Priority will be given to rural hospitals, critical access hospitals, and safety net hospitals—places where proper funding for antimicrobial stewardship programs is often hard to come by.
  • The PASTEUR Act would create a “Committee on Critical Need Antimicrobials” consisting of doctors, patients, subject matter experts, and representatives from federal agencies, to develop guidelines to help us all understand and curb AMR.

These changes will help to keep infections from progressing out of control, and ultimately save lives and limbs from sepsis. Find out more about the PASTEUR Act here.

Looking to take action now? Tell your Congressional representatives to co-sponsor and support this life-saving piece of legislation in just a few clicks here!

Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness and Strategies Among Infectious Disease Physicians and Pharmacists

In September 2022, Sepsis Alliance heralded a survey conducted by Radius Global Market Research of more than 150 Infectious Disease (ID) Physicians and Pharmacists who have practiced medicine for at least one year to determine their knowledge of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), their institution’s AMR education, and their views on what might help lessen the global burden of AMR. Click here to learn more about the findings of this first-of-its-kind survey. Download the full report below.

Learn More By Clicking Below

Antimicrobial Resistance
Information Guide
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Download AMR Materials

United States Perception of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
Survey Results
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Download AMR Materials

Global Perception of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
Survey Results
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Download AMR Materials

Antimicrobial Resistance
Infographic
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Download AMR Materials

Bug Says Finish Your Medicine
Infographic
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Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness and Strategies Among Infectious Disease Physicians and Pharmacists
Survey Results
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Read Personal Stories of AMR

Sarah C.

I don’t get sick often. I never have. But when I do its usually something serious!! One day I wasn’t feeling well and I had a fever with no cough or sore throat and I didn’t understand what was wrong. But never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that what would happen next would ever happen to me. 3 days later I wake up and my hip was hurting a little and I was limping. And by the end of the day I couldn’t even wipe my own butt. I couldn’t walk, I could hardly move. All I ... Read Full Story

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Annette S.

In August 2017, I went for small intestine/ colon surgery and liver resection to remove cancerous tumors. I was a few days post op and doing well. Then I started having shooting pains in the liver area that oral pain med didn’t touch, and then I developed heart rhythm abnormality, atrial fibrillation, which I’d never had before. (Sepsis and Surgery) Being a nurse, I noticed it on the monitor and pointed it out to doctors and nurses. They gave me IV medicine, which eventually did put my heart in rhythm. But I was still having severe pain. The doctors were ... Read Full Story

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Rebecca Brindle

Back in January of 2016, I was working third shift as a registered nurse for a nursing home. I had just finished my shift when two first shift nurses came to me and told me I didn’t look well, and they suggested I rest for awhile in one of the spare beds before driving home. I was extra tired so I went and laid down. One of the nurses came back to wake me up later on, but I still felt really tired so I told her I would rest a bit more. I slept until it was time to ... Read Full Story

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Tony Cornias

I think my story is a little odd myself, but here goes. In the summer of 2003 on a Wednesday afternoon, my brother asked me to drop off work and I agreed. I was on my way back to the office and while crossing the street I felt a twinge of pain in my left leg above my ankle. By the time I made it thru the intersection (60′ or so) I could not bear any weight on my leg. Within the next minute, I made my way to my car and started shaking and was cold as could be; ... Read Full Story

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Kimberly Brown

My story started in 2017, I was recently married in Punta Cana and just returned from our first family vacation in Florida. Upon returning, I woke up with a swollen lip that I thought was a sun blister that I had picked at the night before. I went to the ER and was sent home with Bactrim and Keflex being treated for a skin infection. I had broke out with a sulphur rash on my 8th day of treatment and was advised to discontinue the meds. At this time the infection had appeared to have healed on the outside but ... Read Full Story

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Looking for more information about sepsis, antimicrobial resistance, and Sepsis Alliance? Find some resources below:

 

 

Funding for this campaign was provided by an independent medical research grant from Pfizer.