More than half of patients hospitalized for medication-related injuries are seniors

Share this article:

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, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

The adverse events were caused either by taking or being given the wrong medication or dosage, which can be from reasons ranging from an overdose to a pharmacy error. Out of 838,000 people, 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).

Fifty-three percent of hospitalized patients there for medication-related injuries were over age 65, while 3% were under 18. Children and teenagers comprised 22% of emergency cases. The AHRQ, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, also provided data on which patients were 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).

To read more in “Medication-related Adverse Outcomes in U.S. Hospitals and Emergency Departments, 2008,” click here. To see the agency's 2008 Nationwide Inpatient Sample and 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, click here.

Share this article:

More in News

Large hepatitis outbreak reaches 47 cases, podiatry company denies ManorCare's charges

The number of people infected in an infamous North Dakota Hepatitis C outbreak has risen, state health officials say.

National Quality Forum supports quality measures in bill to standardize post-acute assessments

National Quality Forum supports quality measures in bill ...

The National Quality Forum has come out in strong support of a proposed standardized quality measures, such as skin integrity, across different types of post-acute care settings. Uniform assessments are ...

CMS changes mind on hospice drugs

The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services has revised guidance on authorization of hospice drugs for those under Medicare Advantage and Part D plans, according to a new memo.