Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) – that is, the emergence of “superbugs,” strains of infectious diseases like MRSA and C. diff that are resistant to standard courses of antibiotics – is a global threat, with the World Health Organization projecting the potential for 10 million worldwide deaths per year attributable to them by 2050.
To drive awareness of the problem, TIME magazine has started a series of articles on the growing incidence of AMR. This week, they profiled an individual who developed an antibiotic-resistant MRSA infection following surgery on his ACL:
“The doctors tried to clear the infection the best they could through surgery and lots of antibiotics. Eventually I was sent home to recover, and I was tasked with giving myself two to three daily intravenous doses of the antibiotic vancomycin. One afternoon I was napping in our living room, and my wife came in to wake me up for another dose of medicine. She discovered my face was so swollen that I was unrecognizable, and she struggled to shake me awake. When I finally came to, my temperature was 104 degrees. I felt like I was dying, and I said, “I feel like this is poisoning me.””
He underwent four months of operations to clear the infection, with a total of $300,000 in expenses. And sadly, these infections are not rare – there are an estimated 72,444 MRSA infections, and 9,194 related deaths, in the US each year.
At Xenex, we strongly believe the war against superbugs can be fought on multiple fronts. Reducing unnecessary antibiotic use is important, as is proper hand hygiene, especially in healthcare settings. With our LightStrike™ Germ-Zapping Robots™, we are also able to kill MRSA in healthcare settings within minutes. In one study at a large hospital in North Carolina, use of the Xenex LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot reduced the rate of MRSA infections by 56% facility-wide and saved $2.6 million in the first 6 months of use.