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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 103-107

Medication – A boon or bane: Emergencies due to medication-related visits

Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mamta Madhiyazhagan
Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijp.IJP_357_20

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Background: Medication-related visits (MRV) to the Emergency Department (ED) are substantial though weakly recognized and intervened. Data from developing countries on the prevalence of MRV-related ED admissions are scanty. This study is first of its kind in India to estimate the prevalence of MRV, its severity and the factors contributing to these visits. Methodology: This prospective observational study was done in the ED of an apex tertiary care center in August 2018. A convenient cross-sectional sample of patients presenting with emergencies regarding drug use or ill-use were included and a questionnaire filled after obtaining a written informed consent. Results: During the study period, a cross-sectional sample of 443 patients was studied and the prevalence of MRV was 27.1% (120/443). The mean age was 55 (standard deviation: 15) years with a male preponderance (60.8%). Triage priority I patients comprised 39.1%. Common presenting complaints included vomiting (25%), seizure (20.8%), giddiness (20%), and abdomen pain (17.5%). Less than ½ (43.3%) were compliant to prescribed medication. The most common reasons for MRV were failure to receive drugs/noncompliance (47.5%), subtherapeutic dosage (25%), and adverse drug reaction (16.7%). Severity of MRV was classified as mild (50%), moderate (38.3%), and severe (11.7%). Out of these visits, 71 (59.2%) were deemed preventable. Three-fourths (73.3%) were stabilized and discharged from the ED. Conclusion: The fact that a quarter of the ED visits are due to MRV and that more than half of them are preventable is quite alarming. Diligent patient education by the treating physicians may perhaps help in decreasing the incidence of this deleterious event.


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