Over 50% of all adverse drug reactions treated in hospitals and emergency care are preventable, said Padmashri and Dr B C Roy National Awardee Dr KK AggarwalPresident, Heart Care Foundation of India and MTNL Perfect Health Mela.
Many preventable drug reactions like drug overdoses and internal bleeding associated with the improper use of blood thinners and painkillers are life-threatening especially in the elderly.
As per Katja Hakkarainen, a pharmacist from the Nordic School of Public Health, Gothenburg, there are many reasons for these reactions and may include poor coordination of care, lack of time and knowledge among health professionals, and lack of patient education.
Human error is inevitable, and therefore systems must be made to reduce the error.
The study concludes that:
1. In outpatient setting the frequency of preventable adverse drug reactions resulting in hospitalization or emergency treatment is 2% and of these 51 percent are preventable.
2. In the elderly 71 percent of drug reactions are preventable.
3. In admitted patients the frequency of harmful drug reactions is 1.6percent, and 45 percent of them are preventable.
4. A third of preventable adverse drug reactions are life-threatening.