Adverse Drug Reactions in the Elderly

Can We Stem the Tide?

Shari J. Lynn


Am Nurs Journal. 2012;7(1) 

In This Article

Incidence of ADRs

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 770,000 people are injured or die each year in hospitals from ADRs and other adverse drug events (ADEs), which may cost up to $5.6 million per hospital. Nationally, annual hospital expenses for treating patients who suffer ADEs during hospitalization are estimated at $1.56 to $5.6 billion. The problem of ADRs has been addressed in depth by the Institute of Medicine, most notably in its 2006 report Preventing Medication Errors: Quality Chasm Series.

What's more, many experts believe ADRs are significantly underreported in the elderly, possibly because of healthcare providers' varying conceptions of how ADRs are defined. Also, aging-related changes sometimes are mistaken for ADRs.


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