ADRs account for 6% of hospital admissions
NT Online News
02 07 2004
Source: The Nursing Time
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) account for 1 in 16 hospital admissions and cost the NHS £466m a year, according to new research.
A study published today by the British Medical Journal assessed 18,820 patients aged over 16 years who were admitted to two NHS hospitals in Merseyside over a six-month period.
Drug history and symptoms were used to determine if the admission had been caused by an ADR.
A total of 1,225 admissions were related to an adverse drug reaction, 6.5% of all admissions.
The average stay for ADR-related admissions was eight days, which accounted for 4% of the hospital bed capacity.
The projected annual cost to the NHS of such admissions was £466m.
Although most patients recovered, 28 (2.3%) died as a direct result of the reaction. Most reactions were either definitely or possibly avoidable.
Low dose aspirin, diuretics, warfarin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were most commonly implicated. Gastrointestinal bleeding was the most common reaction.
The authors say many ADRs are preventable through simple improvements in prescribing and measures are urgently needed to reduce the burden on the NHS,.
Reference: Pirmohamed M et al (2004) Adverse drug reactions as cause of admission to hospital: prospective analysis of 18,820 patients BMJ 329 (7456) 15-19