Antimicrobial Resistance – How it happens – Part I

Antimicrobial Resistance – How it happens – Part I

“We don’t have a health care system.  We have a financially-oriented disease management system.  Like any system, it isself-perpetuating, self-serving and self-abnegating.  It is on its own track, quite independent of the client it declares to serve.  Its real purpose is simple: generate money throughpower and control of the entire health system.  It’s purpose is not prevention or cure of diseases, although it pretends to this.  It denies employing all of the usual entrenched system processes, which are obvious to any alert observer. Hitler’s 3rd Reich was the same. Use power and control to generate money, and more power, and more control. Every “institution” eventually pursues this pathway.”  (Gene Rosov, Pres., Io Products, Inc.)


NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH/CDC PUBLISHED FACTS:

  • 99,000 people die ANNUALLY of infections acquired in a hospital. This is 2.5x the number of deaths from highway accidents. My prediction: This number will double in 5 years.
  • Over 2,000,000 people (in the U.S.) acquire infections in hospitals, and it costs billions to cure them. (The actual cost is $27,000 per patient, paid to the hospital. This means that hospitals EARN about $54,000,000,000 – $54 billion – by making people sick, and having them die, in their facilities. Imagine if you went to the auto mechanic for an oil change. He does the oil change, but neglects to put back the oil filter, and your car’s engine needs to be replaced. So a $50 maintenance fee becomes a $5,000 cost. And the mechanic says, “Hey, really sorry. You have to pay for it or lose your car.”)
  • The United Nations, and the World Health Organization, believe that this number will multiply again and again over the next 3 decades, until every country and every economy is crippled.  Sound like an overstatement? Read the next blog.

  • Question: Who benefits from this?
  • Answer: Hospitals, drug companies, administrators, doctors. (Doctors are usually unwilling recipients.)
  • Question: Who pays for this?
  • Answer: You do – with your taxes.

 

Yesterday (Sept. 17th) I attended a CDC (Centers for Disease Control)  webinar on the problem of antimicrobial resistance in healthcare facilities – hospitals, nursing homes, clinics.  So – what is Anti-Microbial Resistance, why does it matter, and why worry? It matters, and it’s a big worry.  And it is far more serious than you want to imagine.  In your wildest and most apocalyptic dreams.  Look to at this diagram below.  Pretty simple – if you’re a microbe.

AntimicrobialImagine that one day you wake up with a sore throat.  OK…no big deal.  It gets worse, and you realize you have a strep throat….which is a streptococcal infection.  “Strep” is a very large group of similar bacteria that cause diseases ranging from pneumonia to pink-eye to meningitis to cavities. Some are even necessary for proper digestion. Some will kill you in a few days.  When you take any antibiotic, it will usually kill both the helpful, and the harmful microbes.  The drug creates an environment favorable to the growth of the harmful microbes.  If you can, and if your doctor agrees, DON’T take antibiotics.  If at all possible.

So after work you go the doctor, because it’s getting worse.  He does a rapid-strep culture and tells you that you need to take penicillin.  He says, quietly and ominously, “There’s a lot of this going around, and some of it doesn’t respond to drugs.  Get back to me in 3 days if it isn’t better.”

iodine_c07-19-16You get the prescription. and start taking the pills that night.  The next morning, it’s worse.  You go to work anyway, because you need the money, and you took your sick-days to visit your parents in Puerto Rico. You get home after an exhausting day, and you have a raging fever.  The next day, you sleep through your alarm, call in sick, and drink hot tea with honey and lemonade, alternately sleeping, moaning, and peeing.

The next day you get up early to go to work.  You feel weird and light-headed, take a painfully uncertain shower in which you feel like you’re going to pass out, and get dressed.  As you put on your tie, you collapse, and wake up two hours later, puking blood.  You call your girlfriend, who calls an ambulance, and off to the hospital you go.  The next day, you go into septic shock and die.

Far-fetched?  Not at all.  We had a patient who died precisely like this.  How come?

Bacteria multiply at unbelievable rates.  If you have ONE bacterium at 9 AM, by the end of the work day you’ll have over 2 MILLION of them attacking your body and blood.  It gets worse and faster from there.

Because they multiply so rapidly, they also mutate rapidly.  Some of the mutations live, and thrive, and the ones that live are the ones that are resistant to our best antibacterial drugs.  We haven’t invented any new antibacterial drugs in nearly 20 years….today, it’s not very profitable for drug companies.  (The real profit comes from diseases that are treated for 10-20-30 years: heart disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, obesity…. )

Drugs companies don’t bother with antibiotics any more.  There isn’t nearly as much money in it as the list of diseases above.

More and more, the first and even second-line drugs are unable to stop infectious diseases.  For example, about 1.5 million people (worldwide) will get tuberculosis this year. And 250,000 of those infected people will DIE….because the drugs we have don’t work anymore.  Clever bacteria.  They know what they’re doing. And they have been doing it since the dawn of time….a lot longer than we have been on Planet Earth.  Some of them “eat our drugs for lunch,” as one of my doctor friends would say.

iodine_d07-19-16The rate of multiplication pictured here takes place in minutes.

The antimicrobial resistance problem is getting a lot worse.  And, frankly, there really isn’t a lot we can do about it.  What’s the problem?  We need to prevent diseases, not treat diseases.  Has ANY healthcare practitioner told you how to prevent diseases (other than getting a vaccination)?  Has any health practitioner told you precisely what to eat, to become and remain healthy?  They “system” does not encourage those discussions, and often doctors’ hands are tied.  Stay tuned.  And read on.

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