Dr Mike Weinbren, a consultant medical microbiologist, examines some of the major health risks from airborne and waterborne microorganisms transmitted via hospital wastewater systems.
In the first in a series of three articles planned to run in HEJ in coming months, Dr Mike Weinbren, a consultant medical microbiologist at King’s Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, and a Specialist Advisor, Microbiology, on England’s national New Hospital Programme, examines some of the major health risks to patients and staff from airborne and waterborne microorganisms transmitted via hospital wastewater systems.
Depending on how you look at it, the New Hospital Programme is either the perfect storm, or the perfect opportunity. England is set to build at least 40 new hospitals by 2030, a significant proportion of healthcare real estate. Expected to last for at least 60 years, these hospitals should still be operational in 2080. Such facilities will be operating over a period when the threat from antimicrobial resistance is likely to be at its fiercest. The highly influential review on antimicrobial resistance (AMR), ‘Tackling drug-resistant infections globally’, chaired by Lord Jim O’Neill, predicts a bleak future should there not be a major change in current practice.1 Predicting a potential end of the antibiotic era by 2050, the estimated economic impact globally will be five hundred trillion dollars, and at least 10 million extra deaths year-on-year globally.
Undermining advances in medicine
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