Report: Drug errors common, at times fatal

Jul 21, 2006

Every day one hospital patient is the victim of at least one drug overdose or medication mistake, a national report says.

The report, released Thursday by the independent Institute of Medicine, found 1.5 million people were harmed by medication errors in an average year, with more than half of the injuries in nursing homes.

While most drug errors are not fatal, the report estimates they cost $3.5 billion annually. Drug mistakes can cause everything from rashes to death from overdoses of chemotherapy.

A 1999 report, "To Err Is Human," blamed 7,000 deaths a year on errors in medication.

"We need to wake up and take this more seriously and then everyone can play a part," Albert Wu, professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The institute's panel urged hospitals to adopt electronic prescribing systems and urged patients to pay more attention to their medication instructions.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Targeted brain training may help you multitask better

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Pilots' mental health a concern amid jet mystery

Mar 23, 2014

Reinforced doors with keypad entries. Body scanners and pat-downs. Elaborate crew maneuvers when a pilot has to use the restroom. All those tactics are designed to keep dangerous people out of the cockpit. ...

Recommended for you

Pica in pregnant teens linked to low iron

7 hours ago

In a study of 158 pregnant teenagers in Rochester, NY, nearly half engaged in pica – the craving and intentional consumption of ice, cornstarch, vacuum dust, baby powder and soap, and other nonfood items, reports a new ...

User comments : 0