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Concerns over ‘last resort’ antibiotics, a ‘smart’ wound dressing and crispy chips cancer concern



Hospitals are increasingly turning to ‘last resort’ antibiotics that are effective on a wide range of bacterial infections, but responsible for driving antibiotic resistance, public health experts are warning.

The Guardian reports that use of the broad spectrum antibiotics carbapenems and piperacillin/tazobactam – usually used in intensive care situations – went up 36% and 55% respectively between 2010 and 2014, although the rate of increase is slowing.

Meanwhile there is evidence that antibiotic resistance is increasing, with the rates of bloodstream infections caused by E coli and Klebsiella pneumoniae went up by 13.5% and 17.2%, respectively, over the same period.

Elsewhere, some hope in the fight against antimicrobial resistance in the shape of a new ‘smart’ wound dressing that changes colour if it detects the presence of a bacterial infection, the BBC reports.

Doctors believe the dressings could be particularly useful for children with burns wounds, who are particularly vulnerable to infections but in whom it can be hard to detect an infection quickly without removing the dressings.

Lastly, scientists are warning that ‘crunchy’ toast and roast potatoes or chips can give you cancer, The Times reports.

According to the Food Standards Ageny, the crispier they are, the higher their content of cancer-causing acrylamide. 

The experts recommend frying or roasting potatoes to only ’a light golden colour’ while bread should be toasted to ’the lightest colour acceptable’.