Authors

  1. Section Editor(s): Pfeifer, Gail M. MA, RN

Article Content

Potentially inappropriate medication in EDs. A study in the March issue of Academic Emergency Medicine estimated that 19.5 million patients ages 65 and older were given at least one potentially inappropriate medication during ED visits between 2000 and 2006. Groups more likely to receive potentially inappropriate medications were women 65 to 74 years of age, patients with nonurgent complaints, those receiving two or more medications, those in rural areas not in the Northeast, and patients in for-profit hospitals. To reduce the number of errors, the authors recommend eliminating the use of particular drugs in the ED; many commonly used potentially inappropriate drugs were antihistamines, antihypertensives, narcotics, and antiinflammatory agents. Two medications-promethazine and ketorolac-accounted for 40% of the events. They also suggest using safety measures like computer reviews and informing practitioners about the Beers criteria (a list of medications generally considered inappropriate for use in elderly patients).