Home drug errors rise.
A shift in the number of medications being taken outside of the
hospital has correlated with a sharp increase in the number of fatal
medication errors in the home, researchers reported in the Archives of
Internal Medicine. Sociologists at the University of California, San
Diego, found a 3,196% increase in fatal domestic medication errors
involving alcohol and/or street drugs, and a 564% increase in domestic
medication fatalities not involving alcohol and/or street drugs. The
study examined nearly 50 million U.S. death certificates from 1983 to
2004, and focused on the 200,000 deaths involving medication errors.
"The decades-long shift in the location of medication consumption
from clinical to domestic settings is linked to a dramatic increase in
fatal medication errors," the authors said. They noted that it may
be possible to reduce fatal medication errors by focusing education
efforts on domestic settings in addition to clinical settings.