Adverse Drug Reactions Cause 700,000 Hospital Visits ~ OPOLAW Injury Blog

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Adverse Drug Reactions Cause 700,000 Hospital Visits

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), adverse reactions to prescription drugs and over the counter medications are the cause of over 700,000 Emergency Room visits a year. In the article, titled "National Surveillance of Emergency Department Visits for Outpatient Adverse Drug Events", it is reported that: "Patients 65 or older made up 25% of those ER visits and almost half of those ER visits required a hospital admission; About 33% of the ER visits were the result of allergic reactions, while another third of the visits were attributable to unintentional overdoses; An estimated 40% of the ER visits involved a patient's use of CNS agents (especially opioid-containing analgesics) and systemic antimicrobials (especially amoxicillin)." The study concludes with: "Adverse drug events among outpatients that lead to emergency department visits are an important cause of morbidity in the United States, particularly among individuals aged 65 years or older and recommended that ongoing, population-based surveillance can help monitor these events and target prevention strategies."

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