This is part of The Globe's months-long series on the challenges facing Canadian hospitals. All of our published material has been reported with permission from staff.
Antibiotic resistance and the rising threat of superbugs are major challenges facing hospitals across the country. The overuse of antibiotics has allowed many types of bacteria to become resistant, meaning they don't respond to traditional medicines. These resistant organisms, often called "superbugs", can spread easily in hospitals, where many patients have weakened immune systems and are particularly vulnerable to infection. It's estimated that 8,000 to 12,000 patients die from hospital-acquired infections each year.
As part of our series on the challenges facing the health-care system, The Globe and Mail recently spoke with Sandra Walker, pharmacy lead for infectious diseases and antimicrobial stewardship at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre about how the hospital is dealing with these problems.
We want to hear about health care in your community: What works, what doesn't, and what you think we should do about it. Share your experiences – and ideas for change. Follow @Globe_Health, tweet with #thehospital or email email@example.com to join the conversation.
What is the antimicrobial stewardship program?
Is this a new problem? Why are we hearing so much about superbugs?
Is that a realistic goal? Have we made any gains?
What are the big challenges that remain?
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