Medication Errors Hospitalizing Seniors Most

June 8, 2011
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According to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of patients treated in a hospital after a bad reaction to medication grew 52% between 2004 and 2008. More than half of the errors involved seniors over the age of 65.
  • Taking or being given the wrong medication or dosage was the main culprit.
    According to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the number of patients treated in a hospital after a bad reaction to medication grew 52% between 2004 and 2008. More than half of the errors involved seniors over the age of 65.
    • Taking or being given the wrong medication or dosage was the main culprit.
    • The top five categories of medicines causing injury or illness were:
      • corticosteroids (283,700 cases)
      • painkillers (269,400)
      • blood-thinners (218,800)
      • drugs to treat cancer and immune system disorders (234,300)
      • and heart and blood pressure medicines (191,300).
    The AHRQ, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also provided data on patients treated in an emergency department. Out of the 838,000 people, the majority involve unspecified medicines (261,600), painkillers (118,100), antibiotics (95,100), tranquilizers and antidepressants (79,300), and corticosteroids and other hormones (71,400). 

    Do yourself a favor. There are a myriad of resources to help you properly manage your medications. From simple pill boxes to iphone apps, you can help yourself or a loved one avoid being one of the above statistics.