Medication errors at home and in the hospital are occurring at an alarming rate and are the leading cause of death and injury among patients. Communicate with your health care providers to ensure your medicines add to your health, not take away from it.
When we are sick, we turn to medications to make us healthy. Medications keep many chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis in check. They make pains go away, allergy symptoms disappear, viruses vanish, and feelings of depression and anxiety manageable. When used correctly, medications make our lives so much better. However, on the flip side, when medications aren’t used correctly, our health can take a major turn for the worse.
An adverse drug event occurs when a patient is harmed as a result of exposure to a medication. Some common adverse drug events especially among older people include falls, depression, confusion, hallucinations, and malnutrition. Adverse drug events account for nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 10,000 hospitalizations each year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Fifty-three percent of hospitalized patients there for medication-related injuries are over age 65. Read more