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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Over Medicating Workers' Compensation Patients

When is it too much? That is the big question. Easy access to medication may also be a major problem. Today' s post is shared from\

A huge number of patients suffer from adverse medication issues that complicate workers' compensation claims even further. New data indicates that over medication of patients even complicates the issues further.
The most common cause of fatal allergic reactions in the United States are medicines, especially antibiotics and radiocontrast agents used in imaging studies, a new analysis found.
Using data from the National Center for Health Statistics, researchers found 2,458 cases of fatal anaphylaxis from 1999 through 2010. Almost 60 percent of the deaths, or 1,446, were caused by reactions to drugs, and in cases where the specific drug was known, half were caused by antibiotics. The rate of drug-induced fatal reactions almost doubled over the period.
Insect stings caused 15.2 percent of the fatalities and food 6.7 percent. The cause was not recorded in a fifth of the cases.
The study, published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, also found that older age was associated with a higher risk for death and that blacks had a higher risk of dying from drugs and food reactions. For insect sting deaths, rates among whites were almost three times as high as rates among African-Americans.
The lead author, Dr. Elina Jerschow, an assistant professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, said that part of the increase in drug-induced allergic deaths is probably due to changes in the way deaths are coded on death certificates. But, she added, “We are using more imaging studies than other countries, and they’re potentially life-threatening. After antibiotics, radiocontrast was the chief culprit.”
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