Medication misadventures resulting in emergency department visits at an HMO medical center.
During this 12-month study, patient records from emergency department visits were studied to evaluate the presence of medication misadventures as a cause for the visit. Misadventures included noncompliance and inappropriate prescribing with descriptive results reported. Investigators discovered a 1.7% rate of events and 1.0% rate of hospitalization. Most misadventures were due to allergies or medication underuse in patients younger than 14 years and to adverse events and inappropriate dosage in elderly patients. While several tables are presented to detail the findings, areas of concern highlighted include respiratory agents in young patients, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory use, and frequent problems in elderly patients.