Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Some older ER patients are getting the wrong medicines

Date:
March 17, 2010
Source:
University of Michigan Health System
Summary:
It is common for patients 65 and older to receive potentially inappropriate medications when treated in an emergency room. Nearly 19.5 million older patients, or 16.8 percent of eligible emergency visits from 2000-2006, received one or more of these medications.

A University of Michigan study recently published in Academic Emergency Medicine says that it is common for patients 65 and older to receive potentially inappropriate medications when treated in an emergency room.

Nearly 19.5 million older patients, or 16.8 percent of eligible emergency visits from 2000-2006, received one or more potentially inappropriate medications -- or PIMs. The large sample of approximately 470,000 ED and outpatient clinic visits, corresponding to a national estimate of about 1.5 billion total visits, allowed the researchers to determine the extent of the problem nationwide.

"There are certain medications that probably are not good to give to older adults because the potential benefits are outweighed by potential problems," says lead author, William J. Meurer, M.D., M.S., assistant professor, U-M Departments of Emergency Medicine and Neurology.

Researchers looked at a nationwide sample of emergency visits using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, to see how many patients aged 65 and older sent home from the ED were prescribed potentially inappropriate medications.

Ten medications accounted for 86.5 percent of PIMs used in the ED. The five most common ones were promethazine, ketorolac, propoxyphene, meperidine, and diphenhydramine; and two of these -- promethazine and ketorolac -- accounted for nearly 40%.

Meurer suggested that further efforts are needed to educate doctors about the suitability of certain medications for older adults.

He also says the study showed that prescribing inappropriate medications was less likely to occur if a resident or intern was involved in the treatment, probably due to the fact that younger doctors have had recent training about medications.

There was substantial regional and hospital type (teaching vs. non-teaching) variability. PIMs were less likely to occur in visits to hospitals in the Northeast and twice as likely in other parts of the country. And receiving a potentially inappropriate medication was more likely to occur at for-profit hospitals.

The study did not explore the possibility of medication interactions, so it is possible that the potential harm by medications is underestimated.

Meurer offers the following advice to patients:

  • Make sure you talk to your primary care physician, either during or after your ED visit.
  • Know what medications and supplements you are taking and make sure the nurses and doctors at the ED know.
  • Talk to the ED doctors and nurses about how long the medicines they have given you will affect you.
  • Ask for a list of all medications that you received while at the ED before you leave the ED for home or to go to a bed in the hospital. The list should include information on the possible side effects of those medicines.
  • If you leave the ED and then have an adverse event caused by medication, contact your physician immediately or go back to the emergency department.
  • Be proactive with your pharmacy and make sure you understand what you are taking.

Additional authors: Tommy A. Potti; Kevin A. Kerber, M.D., M.S.; Comilla Sasson, M.D., M.S.; Michelle L. Macy, M.D., Brady T. West, M.S.; and Eve D. Losman, M.D. All are part of the University of Michigan Health System.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Meurer et al. Potentially Inappropriate Medication Utilization in the Emergency Department Visits by Older Adults: Analysis From a Nationally Representative Sample. Academic Emergency Medicine, 2010; 17 (3): 231 DOI: 10.1111/j.1553-2712.2010.00667.x

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan Health System. "Some older ER patients are getting the wrong medicines." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100312134943.htm>.
University of Michigan Health System. (2010, March 17). Some older ER patients are getting the wrong medicines. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100312134943.htm
University of Michigan Health System. "Some older ER patients are getting the wrong medicines." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100312134943.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

WHO Calls for Ban on E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) The World Health Organization called Tuesday on governments should ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, warning that they pose a "serious threat" to foetuses and young people. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Painkiller Overdose Deaths?

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A new study found fewer deaths from prescription drug overdoses in states that have legalized medical marijuana. But experts disagree on the results. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

Official: British Ebola Sufferer Receiving Experimental Drug

AFP (Aug. 26, 2014) A British nurse infected with Ebola while working in Sierra Leone is being given the same experimental drug used on two US missionaries who have recovered for the disease, doctors in London say. Duration: 00:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins