Drug-Related Visits to the Emergency Department: How Big Is the Problem?

Payal Patel, Pharm.D., Peter J. Zed, Pharm.D.


Pharmacotherapy. 2002;22(7) 

In This Article


The literature suggests that drug-related problems are a significant cause of emergency department visits and subsequent resource use. These problems accounted for as many as 28% of emergency department visits, of which as many as 24% resulted in hospital admission; women and elderly individuals seem to be at greatest risk. Approximately 70% of drug-related visits to an emergency department were deemed preventable. Therefore, to prevent these visits and subsequent morbidity and mortality, primary care providers such as family physicians and community pharmacists should collaborate more closely to provide and reinforce care plans and monitor patients.


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