Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Better control of drug use can save 400 Swedish lives per year

11.01.2010
A scientific study indicates that the lives of 400 Swedes could be saved annually if measures were taken to prevent side effects of pharmaceuticals.

Now these researchers in Sweden, at the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV) and elsewhere, have reviewed randomly selected deaths in three Swedish counties and found that 14 percent of these deaths could have been avoided if a drug had been replaced or if the dosage had been lowered.

In an earlier study the scientists showed that out of 1,574 deaths, 49 individuals had died from side effects of medicines. Now they have analyzed how many of these deaths could have been prevented. The researchers estimate that seven of the cases, 14 percent, might possibly have been avoided if the drug had been replaced or the dosage lowered. If the results are representative for the entire country, this means that roughly 400 people could be saved each year.

"The reason we can draw this conclusion is that we made a randomized selection among people who died in the region," says researcher and pharmacist Anna Jönsson, project director at the Nordic School of Public Health in Gothenburg.

Most of the preventable deaths were caused by pain-relieving substances, and by drugs that inhibit the formation of blood clots, but also by blood-pressure-reducing pharmaceuticals.

"In the 'definitely preventable' cases, something clearly went wrong in the care process, such as the patient receiving a drug that was counterindicated or was prescribed at an excessively high dosage," says Katja Hakkarainen, a pharmacist and doctoral candidate at NHV.

A chain of mistakes, organizational causes, such as lack of personnel, and long workdays probably contribute to side effects from drugs. Therefore there must be a system for crosschecking that would reveal any mistakes that were made. Healthcare personnel make mistakes sometimes, but so do patients. These mistakes , too, can be caught if sufficiently careful follow-ups are in place.

To avoid unnecessary deaths, the researchers suggest more and better education in pharmacology. Better support for those issuing prescriptions that provides relevant information about the side effects of drugs, and better routines for following up are concrete measures that the scientists believe could improve the statistics.

Anna K Jönsson adds, however, that that it must be borne in mind that most of the deceased persons included in the study were older individuals, which means that the conclusion is that drug side effects have contributed to their death. Various concepts have been used, and when it comes to the "possibly preventable cases," the judgment is that the healthcare personnel could have done something more, such as carrying out more frequent follow-ups of the effects of the drugs.

The research team has studied deaths during 2001 in Jönköping, Kalmar, and Östergötland counties in three respects. "Incidence of fatal adverse drug reactions: a population based study" was published in 2007. "Fatal drug poisonings in a Swedish general population" came out in January 2009, and now the study "Preventable drug related mortality in a Swedish population" has been accepted by Pharmacoepedimiology and Drug Safety. Those taking part in this part of the study are Henrik Druid, Katja M Hakkarainen (NHV), Staffan Hägg, Anna K Jönsson (NHV), Karin Wester, Anne Hiselius, Olav Spigset, and Mikaela Tjäderborn.

Contact: Anna K Jönsson e-mail: anna.k.jonsson@nhv.se Phone: +46 (0)31 693989
Katja M Hakkarainen e-mail: katja.hakkarainen@nhv.se Phone: +46 (0) 31 69 3989
Pressofficer Monica Bengtson; monica.bengtson@nhv.se; +46 (0)31 693952

Monica Bengtson | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Obstructing the ‘inner eye’
07.07.2017 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>