Drug related adverse outcomes rose over fifty percent in hospitals between 2004 and 2008, according to a statistical brief by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
These adverse outcomes include adverse drug reactions ("harm caused by a drug at normal doses"), adverse drug events ("harm caused by use of a drug"), and medication errors ("inappropriate use of a drug").
Key findings from the report:
- In 2008, drug-related adverse outcomes were noted in nearly 1.9 million inpatient hospital stays
- Corticosteroids, such as prednisone, caused 13.2 percent of all drug-related adverse outcomes.
- Analgesics, antipyretics, and antirheumatics were the second most common general cause of drug-related adverse outcomes for both inpatient and treat-and-release ED events.
- Over 53 percent of all inpatient stays with a drug-related adverse outcome were for patients 65 or older.