Adverse Drug Events Lead to Emergency Department Visits

They may account for more than 700,000 visits each year; elderly disproportionately affected

TUESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Adverse drug events, or ADEs, may account for more than 700,000 emergency department visits in the United States each year, and the elderly are at higher risk of visits and hospitalizations than younger patients, researchers report in the Oct. 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Daniel S. Budnitz, M.D., M.P.H., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed 2004-2005 data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance project (NEISS-CADES) and identified 21,298 ADEs.

Based on this data, the researchers estimated that ADEs accounted for 701,547 emergency department visits annually in 2004 and 2005. They also found that patients aged 65 and older were more than twice as likely to receive treatment for ADEs and almost seven times as likely to require subsequent hospitalization compared to younger patients. They identified 18 drugs associated with most ADEs and found that insulins or warfarins accounted for one in seven ADEs treated in emergency departments.

"Efforts to reduce the burden of outpatient ADEs have been hampered by sparse data, except in selected health care systems or settings," the authors write. "Ongoing data collection in NEISS-CADES will enable more detailed examination of the epidemiology of emergency department-treated outpatient ADEs, focusing on specific patient populations, drug classes, conditions and circumstances."

Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

No stories found.