1.5 Million Casualties from Medication Mistakes

A report out this week from the US Institute of Medicine (IOM) estimates that 1.5 million Americans are being injured each year as a result of prescribing mistakes related to medications. The report also suggests that 7000 people continue to die each year as a result of wrongly prescribed or errors related to medications.

According to the report, mistakes in giving drugs in hospitals are so common that, on average, a patient can expect to be subject to a medication error each day he or she remains hospitalised. The errors are costing more than $3.5 billiion each year.

According to one estimate given in the report, it was believed that four out of every five US adults will use prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs, or dietary supplements of some sort in any given week. It was also suggested that nearly one third of adults will take five or more different medications each week.

One could argue that if Americans adopted healthcare practices that were less relying on daily doses of medications (and therefore less prescriptions) and instead were more focused on exercise, good nutrition, and neuor-musculoskeletal care care, would be far better off both financially and as a healthier nation.


Dr. Hooper’s Comment:

I realise that this is an American report and some times the figures don’t seem to sink in, after all, this wouldn’t happen in Australia would it? Well tragically we are following in the same foot steps of the Americans.

We don’t have same number overall of drug deaths, but per capita we are moving in the same direction. Indeed in some areas (like childhood obesity) we are in front!

The number one cause of death in America is medicine – in all it’s forms. (For more info on this read “Death by Medicine“).

In Australia reports have it that medical and prescription related deaths rate as our third biggest killer. Scary stuff.

Remember there is no pill for every ill.

The body works fine – it just needs no interference.