Background Medication related problems (MRPs) are an unintended event caused by a drug and result in undesirable health outcome. MRPs could require a patient to visit the emergency department (ED). Unfortunately, many of these visits lead to hospital admissions depending on the severity of the presented cases. Internationally, many studies have addressed the incidence, preventability and causes of MRPs leading to hospitalisation. However, few studies have looked into the relation of the occurrence of MRPs with patient factors, hospital setting and the healthcare system that regulates each country.
Purpose To investigate the frequency of MRPs that lead patients in Saudi Arabia (SA) to visit the ED. The study examined the severity and factors contributing to medication related emergency visits leading to hospital admission (MREA) at a tertiary care hospital in SA.
Material and methods A retrospective observational study was conducted over a 6 month period. All medical record numbers listed in the quality records for patients admitted through the ED and reviewed by a pharmacist for medication reconciliation were examined retrospectively for possible MRPs causing admission.
Results Of 2199 emergency admissions over the period October 2015–March 2016, a sample of 698 patients was reviewed. 92 (13%) were MREA. Adverse drug reactions were the primary cause of admission (47%), as well as compliance (14%), drug prescribing (30%) and drug dosing (9%). The majority of cases were of moderate severity (83%). Most medications involved in emergency admission were antihypertensive, chemotherapy, anticoagulant and antidiabetic agents.
Conclusion There was insignificant difference in the incidence of MREA in a tertiary care hospital in SA compared with other tertiary care hospitals nationally and internationally. For the purpose of reducing the incidence of MRPs, it is recommended to involve pharmacists in emergency and ambulatory care settings to counsel and educate patients, and to support healthcare providers in making best medication related decision. It is also recommended to motivate physicians to apply patient centred strategies during prescribing.
References and/or acknowledgements Dr Baker Sadeq and Dr Abdilahi Mohamed.
Korpi CT. Assessing the preventability of emergency hospital admissions. Am J Med 1988;84:1094. doi:10.1016/0002-9343(88)90329-4
No conflict of interest
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