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Adverse drug reactions cause too many hospital admissions


Adverse drug reactions cause too many hospital admissions
BMJ  2004;329 (3 July), doi:10.1136/bmj.329.7456.0
Source: British Medical Journal

One in 16 admissions to hospital is due to adverse drug reactions. Analysing 18 820 admissions to hospital in Merseyside, Pirmohamed and colleagues (p 15) found that 1225 admissions (6.5%) were related to adverse drug reactions. Patients were in hospital for eight days on average, accounting for 4% of bed capacity, and 28 (0.15%) died. Most reactions were due to aspirin, diuretics, warfarin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; the most common reaction was gastrointestinal bleeding. Adverse drug reactions are likely to cost the NHS £466m every year, say the authors, and most are avoidable.

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