Medicine Beware!

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Medicine Beware!

If we doctors threw all our medicines into the sea, it would be that much better for our patients and that much worse for the fishes.
                                                                          Oliver Wendell Holmes, M.D.

Prescription drugs cause $20 BILLION worth of adverse side effects and avoidable hospitalizations.  Report of FDA commissioner, David Kessler, MD; August 1995.

Adverse side effects to prescription drugs require over 2 MILLION Americans to be hospitalized per year with 140,000 deaths.  US News and World Report, January 9, 1995

Antibiotics are of no value in the treatment of common forms of sinusitis, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis.  British Medical Journal, March 8, 1997

One MILLION Americans are injured annually by medical errors and 120,000 die as a result.  “Health Care’s Deadly Secret: Accidents Routinely Happen” Philadelphia Inquirer, September 12, 1999.

Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Motrin and Advil in the elderly increases the risk of heart failure by a factor of ten.  Page J, Henry D. Consumption of NASAIDs and the development of congestive heart failure in elderly patients. Arch Intern Med 2000: 160: 777-784.

Chronic use of pain relievers such as Advil and Motrin damage the kidneys so much that as few as one pill every four days for a total of 5,000 in a lifetime increases kidney failure ten-fold.  Permeger TV, Whelton PK, Klag MJ. “Risk of kidney failure associated with the use of acetominophen, aspirin, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.” New England Journal of Medicine, 1994; 331:1675-1678.

Researchers found that “low dose” aspirin therapy in the elderly can decrease heart  attacks by 32% but increases the risk of stroke by 84% and also increases gastrointestinal bleeding in a high percentage of patients to the point where the risks may outway the benefits.  British Medical Journal, May, 2005

20% of patients with massive GI bleeding were taking aspirin regularly.  World Journal of Surgery, May, 2002.

Over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication like aspirin, Motrin, Aleve, Advil, causes 103,000 hospitalizations per year, 16,500 deaths, and is the 15th leading cause of Americans dying (about the same as AIDS). New Eng J Med 1999.

1,600 children die each year from allergic reactions to aspirin.  JAMA, June 3, 1988.

A 7-20 year retrospective outcome study of lumbar discectomy surgery was analyzed and found that greater than 33% of patients had unsatisfactory results with more than 25% complaining of significant pain.  Loupasis, MD. Spine 1999; 24(22):2313-17.

195,000 Americans die each year in our hospitals due to medical errors according to Health Grades Quality Study, July 2004.

The cost of medication related sickness and death was higher than $177.4 million per year in the US in 2000 according to J Am Pharm Assoc.

Hospital infections kills 90,000-103,000 Americans every year.  75% of these are preventable.

In January of 2000 the Institute of Medicine estimated that 44,000-98,000 Americans die annually from medical errors.

In 2000 the American Journal of Medicine stated that there were an estimated 350,000 adverse drug reactions in nursing homes every year in the US.

Medicare patients suffer almost 2 million drug errors per year.  Medicare patients suffer 1.9 million injuries per year due to medical errors or adverse drug reactions, 180,000 of which are life-threatening or cause death.