ADVERSE DRUG EVENTS SPIKE ER ADMISSIONS, STUDY FINDS
Nearly 1.4 million Americans sought treatment in hospitalemergency rooms (ERs) for adverse drug events (ADEs) in 2004and 2005. The nation's elderly face the greatest risk of healthproblems due to drug reactions.
The new findings were published recently in the Journal of theAmerican Medical Association, which reported that 1 in every 6drug-related ER visits resulted in hospitalization, transfer to anotherhealth care facility, or admission to the ER for observation.
The study's findings were culled from information on theNational Electronic Injury Surveillance System-CooperativeAdverse Drug Events Surveillance database. They indicate thatunintentional drug overdoses were responsible for one third ofthe ER visits and half of theADE-related hospitalizations.
The majority of the drug-relatedER admissions involvedwomen, and elderlypatients accounted for nearlyhalf of the ADE-related hospitalizations.According to theresearchers, the ADEs resultingin hospitalization most commonly involved anticoagulants,insulin, opioid-containing analgesics, oral hypoglycemic agents,and antineoplastic agents.