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Reporting a Medication Error

Poisoning Amongst the Senior Population

8c4e7ddecfb739ef5c33c55621b27630 MReports show that seniors are at an increased risk for poisoning. Some experts estimate that half of all seniors mismanage at least one of their medications and that seniors are twice as likely as other patients to present to the emergency room as a result of drug safety issues, such as, confusion over multiple medications, skipped doses, or variances from recommended doses.

Moreover, once seniors are in the hospital, they are more likely than younger patients to stay there. While all age groups experience problems with medication noncompliance, seniors have a drug error rate about seven times higher than that of patients under age 65. Data indicates that one in four patients over age 65 have prescriptions from five or more physicians and one in 20 seniors have prescriptions from eight or more physicians. Furthermore, people over age 65 represent about 13 percent of the population but consume about one-third of all prescription drugs nationwide. These numbers are expected to continue rising as the baby boomers enter their senior years.

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