When children suffer from bacterial illnesses such as ear infections, sepsis or meningitis, they often take antibiotics. However, according to an Australian study led by the University of Sydney, less than 50 percent of antibiotics are effective.
November 18 is the European Day for the Judicious Use of Antibiotics, a day when we will once again talk about the increasing resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. There is a lack of new and effective drugs, which can be especially dangerous for infants and children, as their immune systems are not yet fully developed and not able to adequately defend themselves against invading pathogens. .
When prescribing antibiotics, not only the accurate selection of the drug is important, but also the dose that should be given. This can often be difficult when antibiotics are given in syrup form, as is often the case for infants and young children.
Antibiotics are not always necessary
If it is a serious bacterial infection, for example with urinary or respiratory tract streptococcus, antibiotics stop the growth and reproduction of the bacteria or kill them. They work quickly, usually between 24 and 48 hours.
Otitis is an infection that many infants and children suffer from. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, it is a common and widespread health disorder among children around the world.
Are there any alternatives?
According to experts, there are no reliable alternatives. Herbs with antimicrobial properties can be used against some infectious diseases. In case of respiratory tract infections, saline solution may provide some relief from symptoms; In case of otitis media infection, the classic home remedy is to use onion pieces inside a sock or cloth bag.
However, the use of antibiotics is the most reliable solution, for example, against sepsis, which must be treated immediately. In the worst case there is a risk of septic shock, organ failure and, unfortunately, death.
Sepsis can occur when an external wound becomes infected and pathogens can spread throughout the body through the blood, causing the patient’s condition to quickly worsen. This is not something that happens often.
First, correct diagnosis
The most important thing is to make the correct diagnosis, knowing whether the discomfort is caused by a virus or bacteria. Only bacterial diseases are treated with antibiotics.
The situation in Southeast Asia and the Pacific is very dramatic. Thousands of children die every year in Indonesia and the Philippines because they do not have access to the antibiotics available in Europe or they are not effective.
Therefore, correct diagnosis is even more important. Pathogens should be identified, tested for antibiotic susceptibility, and then at least a broad-spectrum antibiotic should be used. In short, over the past 15 years, resistance to antibiotics has increased worldwide and it will still be some time before new antibiotics are introduced.