Monday, July 10, 2017

Every 21 seconds--medication error

A friend and I were emailing about "pills" and how we didn't want to take them, much less "ask our doctors if they would be right for us."

Then I read that every 21 seconds, someone in the US calls Poison Control because the effects of some medication--not street drugs--medications.

The study, done by the Center for Injury Research and Policy and the Central Ohio Poison Center, and published in Clinical Toxicology, says med errors have doubled since 2012. The only age group that went down was children younger than 6.

Most associated with serious outcomes:

--Cardiovascular drugs (21%)

--Painkillers (12%),

--Hormones and hormone antagonists (11%). (Involving insulin)

The most common errors were:

--Taking or giving the wrong medicine

--Incorrect dosage

--Taking twice by accident

One-third of these mistakes resulted in hospitalization.

Some tips for avoiding these issues:

--Write everything down. Parents and caregivers or even the patient should not what was given and when.

--Ask questions. Ask the doctor, Ask the pharmacist. Does four times a day mean every six hours, even at night--or four times in waking hours?

--Child resistant packaging. Most pills come in child-proof bottles (supposedly childproof), but often adults transfer a days pills to another receptacle--use a child resistant one of those and keep it out of sight.

Pills, pills, pills...I just think we have too many...Ask your doctor if some of yours can be eliminated.

In the 1960, there were 600 meds. Now there are thousands.

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