Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center - 48

HEALTH BY THE NUMBERS BY MISTI CRANE MEDICATION MISHAPS $3.5 BILLION 700,000 emergency department visits arise from medication problems each year in the United States. 2X Older Americans are twice as likely to go to the emergency department because of an adverse drug event. is spent on medical costs related to prescription drug errors each year. Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; American Association of Poison Control Centers 82% Nearly 272,000 calls were received by U.S. poison control centers in 2014 for medication errors, usually because someone inadvertently took a medicine, or took it twice. of American adults take at least one medication and 29 percent take five or more. Unfortunately, they're not always taken safely. TAKE CARE WHEN TAKING MULTIPLE PRESCRIPTIONS 48 W IN TER 2016 including over-the-counter products, Hartzell recommends. If your care provider doesn't initiate the conversation, make sure you do. At home, managing medications can be particularly problematic for those with faltering memory skills and dementia. Family members and other caregivers can help by going along to medical appointments and to the pharmacy, providing an extra set of ears, Hartzell says. Pill organizers and timers or online applications that remind people when they're due for a dose can help, too, he says. When you do miss a pill or realize you've taken an extra, it's best to call a pharmacist or a doctor and ask for advice. It's possible with some medicines to make up lost doses or to take a double dose without serious harm, but not so with others. TOOL Your Health Connection Managing your health can be easy and convenient with GMC HealthConnect. Create your own personal health record, receive test results and more. Get started at gwinnettmedical center.org/ gmchealthconnect. ILLUSTRATION BY THINKSTOCK The same medications we take to tamp down our high blood pressure, soothe our arthritic joints and alleviate or prevent all manner of health problems can themselves do us harm. And as we age, we take more pills and opportunities mount for dangerous medication interactions and overdoses. Medication errors can be relatively minor, but sometimes they result in life-threatening problems such as liver damage or difficulty breathing. A pharmacist-especially if you see the same one for all your medications-is often in the best position to quickly spot potential adverse interactions of prescriptions written by two or more doctors, says Vincent Hartzell, a pharmacist and member of the American Pharmacists Association. Make sure that a pharmacist or a primary care doctor knows everything you're taking, http://gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/gmchealthconnect

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center

Contents
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Vim & Vigor - Winter 2016 - Gwinnett Medical Center - Contents
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