According to recent data out of Johns Hopkins there are now greater than 400,000 Americans who lose their lives every year due medications.
Medications can be incredibly dangerous. Even drugs deemed to be generally very safe can become rapidly dangerous in certain situations, such as when taken in combination with other medications or substances, such as herbal supplements, alcohol, and drugs, all of which may interact dangerously when taken together. Other common occurrences can also make medications dangerous, such as when people experience rapid weight change, a traumatic injury, a surgery, and when too large of a dose is given by mistake, which is what happened to the renowned cancer researcher, David Boothman, PhD, who died due to a medication error.
Sadly, this is not a rare event in our country. This specific case has gotten attention because the victim was a high profile individual who was highly respected in the medical field, and who’s spouse was a nurse practitioner. It showcases that nobody is immune from medication error. Furthermore, this is why PAA created a medication-card as one of its most important aspects of patient advocacy — patient safety.
Patient Advocate Alliance is committed to reducing morbidity and mortality from medications by encouraging everyone taking even one medication or with a medication allergy to carry a wallet medication-card. Our proceeds fund our other patient advocacy work.
I frequently take my 8-year-old son swimming in the ocean to play in the waves. I always remind him that the ocean can be dangerous and to never turn your back on the waves. Many people have drowned from lack of vigilance in the ocean. Taking medications is no different than swimming in the ocean; and carrying a wallet-medication-card the best way to protect yourself by keeping your providers and pharmacists vigilant.
Justin Groode MD | Patient Advocate Alliance LLC