The Pros And Cons Of Medication Erros

1580 Words 7 Pages
Even in today’s modern world, medication errors in healthcare are alarmingly common. In the United States alone, an estimated four out of every five adults will use prescription medicines or over the counter drugs. One third of adults will use five or more different medications. 1 Medications given are normally beneficial to the recipient, resulting in improvements in health. However, these benefits also come with increased risks that can be detrimental as seen in adverse drug events. Adverse drug events or ADEs are injuries resulting from medical intervention related to a drug, including overdoses, allergic reactions, and adverse drug reactions. ADEs affect approximately 5 % of hospitalized patients and higher rates in ambulatory patients. …show more content…
2 Medication errors that cause any degree of harms are termed preventable adverse drug events or PAEs. Almost of half of ADEs are preventable. Medication errors that do not cause harm, due to early detection or by pure luck, are called potential ADEs or PADEs. Approximately 1.5 million Americans each year are harmed by medication errors. More than 7,000 people die each year from medication errors. 8An estimated 51.5 million medication errors occur during the filing of 3 billion prescriptions. As well as affecting the individuals’ well-being, medication errors are costly resulting in at least $3.5 billion in extra medical expenses. 3 Patients affected typically spend an average of 8-12 days in the hospital which means that the additional hospital stay could cost more than $16,000. In order to evaluate the importance of this matter, we will discuss types of medication errors, ways to prevent these errors, and how the patients themselves can help prevent these …show more content…
The most common medication error is the administration of improper doses of medicine where the dose is greater than or less than the amount ordered by the prescriber or administration. This accounts for 41% of fatal medication errors. 16% of error comes from administering the wrong dosage and route (4). Majority of fatal medication errors occurred in people over the age of 60. Polypharmacy, where five or more drugs are in use, is more common in this age group, placing them at the greatest risk for medication errors. This is occurs more frequently in people aged over 65 and leads to adverse drug reactions and drug-drug interactions. When it comes to prescribing errors, prescriptions are either inappropriate, ineffective, under/overprescribed. Illegible prescriptions can also lead to errors. Omission error is the failure of administering an ordered does to a patient before the next scheduled dose. An example of this would be failing to prescribe a β-blocker when a patient needs it. This could result in premature death. Omission errors are more difficult to detect because adverse effects may be delayed until discharge of the patient (5). Wrong time of error is when medication is administered outside a predefined time. Deteriorated drug error is when the

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