Essay Medicine Hurts : The Silent Epidemic

Essay Medicine Hurts : The Silent Epidemic

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It 's a fact of life: people checking into the hospital face risks. Expecting to get better, some actually end up getting worse. Everyone has heard the stories of risks that are taken. There is the danger of medical complications such as bleeding or infection. Then there is human error, like getting the wrong drug or dosage. These complications are slowly rising, and becoming known as a “silent epidemic.” This "silent epidemic" can appear in a variety of situations – when a person is prescribed the wrong medication for his or her medical condition or age, the right medication in the wrong dose, or two or more medications that interact with dangerous, unintended side effects ("When Medicine Hurts: The Silent Epidemic.”).
Medication is like a two-edged sword; it can cut both ways. A dose of medicine given to two different people may cure one of them, but harm the other. In the past few years there has been a growing recognition that the misuse of medicine is creating serious health problems, disabilities, and death at an alarming rate. When medication is prescribed for a patient, the intent is to improve the patient’s life by curing a disease, reducing or eliminating the symptoms, slowing a diseases process, or preventing a disease or its symptoms from appearing ("When Medicine Hurts: The Silent Epidemic.”). The problem is that this has not been the case for many years now.
Approximately 1.9 million people are injured annually in the United States and results in at least $3.5 billion in extra medical costs for lost wages, productivity and additional health care expenses. “The National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention defines a medication error as "any preventable event that may cause or lead t...

... middle of paper ... prevent potentially serious interactions among medications. Finally, you should never be afraid to ask questions. For example, if the name of your prescribed drug does not look as you expected, if the directions appear different than you were told or if the pills look different be sure to tell your doctor or pharmacist right away (Parker-Pope, Tara.). Asking questions is a free and easy to to ensure that don’t become a victim of a medication error.
As you can see there are many medication errors that occur that a majority of the United States does not recognize. Medication errors are among one of the biggest issues devoted in a health care setting today in America. It has become what some people may call it, a “silent epidemic.” Everybody should be aware of this new arising problem because these errors can happen to anyone, especially children and the elderly.

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