Anticoagulants and diabetes drugs are most frequently linked to emergency department visits for medication harm in adults aged 65 and older, according to a new federal study. The results come from data collected at 60 U.S. emergency departments enrolled in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-Cooperative Adverse Drug Event Surveillance Project.
Clinicians estimated the medication type and intent of use, such as therapeutic or unsupervised, and deemed medication harm based on symptoms and supporting data from a patient’s medical records. Researchers determined national estimates of emergency department visits for medication harm and subsequent hospitalizations.
The study found that patients 65 and older had more emergency department visits due to medication harm than those younger than 65. Like the 65 and older age group, anticoagulants and diabetes drugs were the most common reason for emergency department visits from patients aged 45-64.
Researchers from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion estimated 69% of emergency department visits for medication harm visits are due to the use of therapeutic medication. Overall the study found that emergency department visits for medication harm from 2017-2019 were frequent and varied by medication type, intended use, and patient age.
Learn more about the study here.