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An alarming study has reported that fatalities due to medication errors increased by as much as 25% over normal at the beginning of each month. This was due to the increased work load at the beginning of the month resulting in an increase in errors. Government assisted payment are often at the beginning of the month and thus prescription medicines tend to be purchased then. 131,952 fatal poisoning accidents from drugs occurred between 1979 and 2000. Only 3.2% of these deaths were due to an adverse effect from the correct dose of the correct drug. The rest was due to medication errors such as accidental overdose, inadvertent consumption of the drug or the wrong drug being given or taken. However, researchers say that some of the increase in mortality may be due to the fact that simple more people purchase their medication at the beginning of the month. More research needs to be done to establish the extent of the correlation, but nevertheless, more care should be taken in the accuracy of the medication by both patients and clinical staff.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Scienceblog
About: Fatalities from medication errors increases significantly at the beginning of each month
Date: 6 January 2005
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