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Some Older ER Patients Are Getting the Wrong Medicines, U-M Study Finds
Date:3/12/2010

ANN ARBOR, Mich., March 12  /PRNewswire/ -- A University of Michigan study recently published in Academic Emergency Medicine says that it is common for patients 65 and older to receive potentially inappropriate medications when treated in an emergency room.

Nearly 19.5 million older patients, or 16.8 percent of eligible emergency visits from 2000-2006, received one or more potentially inappropriate medications – or PIMs. The large sample of approximately 470,000 ED and outpatient clinic visits, corresponding to a national estimate of about 1.5 billion total visits, allowed the researchers to determine the extent of the problem nationwide.

"There are certain medications that probably are not good to give to older adults because the potential benefits are outweighed by potential problems," says lead author, William J. Meurer, M.D., M.S., assistant professor, U-M Departments of Emergency Medicine and Neurology.

Researchers looked at a nationwide sample of emergency visits using data from the National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, to see how many patients aged 65 and older sent home from the ED were prescribed potentially inappropriate medications.


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SOURCE University of Michigan Health System
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