I Contracted A Superbug That Is The Biggest Public Health Threat—And This Is It

Eight years ago, I was a healthy 54-year-old woman. I joked often more healthy — I’ve rarely had a cold and never had the flu. antimicrobial resistance (AMR), The term microbes, which no longer respond to medication and thus make drugs ineffective, wasn’t really on my radar, even though I was a licensed practice nurse. I never thought I could contract an antibiotic-resistant insect, but a trip to the emergency room changed everything.

Shortly after I was 55, I started experimenting. atrial fibrillation. One day the symptoms were so severe that I felt like my heart was going to jump out of my mouth. My husband and I went to the ER where the doctors discovered I had a major illness. aortic aneurysm — a bulge in my heart that is in danger of breaking.

I was hospitalized and scheduled to have open heart surgery four days later.

I went into surgery unexpectedly the night before the surgery. cardiac arrest. One nurse described the scene as a battlefield surgery – everyone scrambling to help. I straightened for six minutes and the doctors extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is basically a life support system that circulates your blood for you.

Two weeks later, the doctors, fearing the aneurysm would burst, proceeded with open heart surgery and everything went as planned. But five days after my recovery, I started talking funny and pointless and I couldn’t hold my head. I passed the eight-hour test for stroke — risk when undergoing heart surgery – but all tests came back negative. Later, she was positive for a routine lab test. sepsisa life-threatening response to an infection.

My doctor would then trace the cause of the AMR infection to ECMO. I caught deadly antibiotic resistant bacteria super bug, pseudomonas aeruginosa, most likely through the contaminated water emanating from the granite sink area in the hospital room. (Pseudomonas likes dark, wet places such as sink traps and can be spread by contaminated skin, equipment, and surfaces.) Sepsis and AMR are linked. When does AMR occur? bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and is no longer responsive to medication, making it difficult—sometimes impossible—to treat infections. In my case, my body was overreacting to the antibiotic-resistant pseudomonas by attacking its own tissue and causing organ failure.

For the next two weeks, the doctors weren’t sure I could make it, but I persevered. After 30 days in the intensive care unit, strong medications and another surgery, I was sent home with a month of infusions to make sure everything was alright.

A short time later, I spoke to an infectious disease doctor, who I believed was a routine follow-up, and he prescribed the potent antibiotic. ciprofloxacin for life. This is the first time someone told me: healthcare-associated infection It was chronic that I was dealing with and I would have to live with it. pseudomonas for the rest of my life.

I was angry for months. I asked my doctor if he could contact me with a group of Pseudomonas survivors and he said there was no such group.

“You are,” he said.

In the USA only, 2.8 million people becomes infected with an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die each year. Survivors take care long-term cognitive, psychological, and physical problems far beyond the hospital.

A few months after being discharged from the hospital, I was still in the process of learning how to do it. hold simple objects and walk again. When I came back for follow-up appointments, I started having severe panic attacks. When life revolves around doctors, staying home isn’t an option, so I volunteered at the hospital to talk to heart patients. This helped me get used to the smell and reduce anxiety over time.

In the ten months of my post-septic life, I was ready to learn everything I could about this insect. When I started researching AMR and sepsis, I learned that it was a disease. global problem It is based on the excessive use of antibiotics in humans and animals.

I wanted to help raise awareness, so I wrote a story detailing my account with AMR. My doctor sent the story Infectious Diseases Society of Americaand they asked me to speak about my experiences at a seminar. Since that seminar, I have been invited to speak at medical conferences and at pharmaceutical companies in the US to help put a face to the dangers of AMR.

The truth is, I struggle every day. My left foot is numb and my toes are constantly tingling, which makes it difficult for me to be active. I regularly deal with many cognitive issues, including confusion and fatigue. I had numerous surgeries because my immune system attacked my muscles and I had heart failure as a result of AMR. I’m at the hospital every two weeks for labs, infusions, and doctor’s appointments.

While I may be dealing with AMR for the rest of my life, I am trying to be a change agent for greater awareness, antibiotic administration and better diagnosis. The more people know about AMR, the more we can fight against superbugs.

This resource was created with the support of Pfizer Inc.

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