Report Shows Medication Errors Increasing at an Alarming Rate
Ding to US Politics Today, medication errors are increasing and the aging population should be concerned. A report by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality indicates the number of hospital patients who have experience adverse reactions to medications has increased 52% over the past five years. These adverse reactions include everything from skin irritations to poisoning and are based on national data from in-patient hospital stays and emergency room visits.
Experts agree that the most common type of medical error is when patients are given the wrong medicine. The study also reviewed the medical records of 89 high risk Medicaid patients and found an average of 10 medication problems per person. These problems include potentially harmful duplication of medications and the inclusion of drugs that might interact with one another.
The increase in drug mistakes has many influences including an aging population, patients who have multiple diseases and disorders, an increase in the use of prescription drugs, and the specialization of doctors. Patients see different doctors for different conditions and not all doctors communicate about or coordinate treatment. This can lead to dangerous drug interactions.