‘Collaboration vital in maintaining Sepsis management and AMR balance’, ET HealthWorld

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KNOW AMR, a campaign initiated by Pfizer, aims to address the problem of antimicrobial resistance and safeguard the efficacy of antimicrobial treatments. The campaign focuses on raising awareness, supporting research, and implementing strategies to combat antimicrobial resistance. As a part of the KNOW AMR awareness campaign, Pfizer, in partnership with ET HealthWorld, organized a webinar on the topic of “Tackling the dual challenges of sepsis and AMR: The Next Steps.”

The webinar sought to tackle the additional burden of sepsis, a concealed health crisis that is wreaking havoc on families worldwide. However, the exact burden of sepsis, especially in countries like India, remains unknown due to the absence of a standardized and centralized system for identifying and reporting the condition.

The webinar showcased esteemed healthcare professionals, including Dr. M N Sivakumar, Head of the Critical Care Department at Royal Care Hospital; Dr. Ravikant Porwal, Infectious Disease Consultant at Manipal Hospitals; Dr. Rajib Paul, Senior Consultant in Internal Medicine at Apollo Hospitals; and Dr. Soutik Panda, Consultant and In-Charge of Critical Care Medicine at Woodlands Multi-Specialty Hospital. The session was skillfully moderated by Rashmi Mabiyan Kaur, Principal Correspondent at ET HealthWorld.

The discussion shed light on two crucial challenges in managing sepsis, particularly when dealing with more severe patients. Dr. Porwal emphasized the intricacy of diagnosing and managing infections when a majority of patients reach larger ICUs after receiving treatment at secondary or tertiary care centers.

Conventional diagnostic methods for identifying the causative agents of sepsis often lack accuracy and precision, leading to delays in making treatment decisions. However, advancements in diagnostic technology, such as multiplex PCR and point-of-care tests, have significantly reduced the time taken to identify pathogens and their resistance mechanisms. This progress has revolutionized the treatment of sepsis by providing vital information within hours instead of days.

The experts underscored the significance of swift and accurate diagnoses when dealing with sepsis. Dr. Paul highlighted the impact of rapid diagnostic tests in distinguishing viral infections from bacterial infections, thus reducing the unnecessary utilization of antibiotics and preserving gut bacteria.

While not all healthcare facilities have access to advanced diagnostic tools, Dr. Panda stressed the importance of therapeutic stewardship and optimizing the selection, dosage, and duration of antibiotics based on clinical and laboratory parameters. With the emergence of advanced tests, resistance patterns can be determined rapidly, allowing timely adjustments to treatment plans.

The panelists expressed concerns about the disparity in sepsis management and AMR awareness between developing and developed countries, as well as between the private and public healthcare sectors. Dr. Sivakumar emphasized the need for increased awareness of sepsis and AMR within healthcare facilities and the community, calling for more efforts in public education and awareness.

Dr. Ravi Kant discussed the challenges of balancing sepsis improvement and AMR programs, emphasizing the need for effective antimicrobial stewardship and collaboration among all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem.

The panelists collectively stressed the importance of data-driven support systems for benchmarking to combat AMR. Dr. Sivakumar highlighted the role of benchmarking in understanding and improving infection rates and antibiotic use in healthcare settings. Dr. Kant discussed the implementation of software systems for global surveillance of drug resistance and antimicrobial consumption, emphasizing the need for tailored approaches to regional variations.

In conclusion, addressing sepsis and AMR is a complex undertaking that necessitates the collective efforts of the healthcare community and a commitment to innovative solutions and data-driven strategies. By raising awareness, collaborating, and implementing strategic interventions, it is possible to mitigate the threat of antimicrobial resistance and enhance global health security.

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