Friday, December 10, 2010

Medications And Patient Safety - What You NEED To Know...
















To all of my PEI Stroke Recovery readers,

Do you take medications to maintain or improve your health? The majority of people do. What are the dangers of taking meds and what would qualify to be tracked as a medication in your body?

Lets see what health Canada has to say on the matter. Here is a quote from Health Canada's website.

"Seniors may be more prone to illness due to the weakening of the body's natural defences. It's not surprising, therefore, that many require a greater number of drugs to treat their health problems. Because seniors also tend to have more than one health problem, they may receive multiple prescriptions or they may combine prescription drugs with over-the-counter products or with natural remedies. Given that the aging body is more sensitive to the effects of many medications, the combinations can cancel the benefits of any or all medications and produce adverse reactions, such as memory loss, sleepiness, agitation and confusion. These effects have been associated with falls and other injuries."

Notice that prescription drugs, over the counter and natural remedies all play a part and should be tracked because of the posed dangers.


Although the above quote mentions seniors, others as well can be in similar danger. Those of all ages with an acute illness or chronic condition such as a stroke survivor.


What is being done to mediate these risks?


In Canada we have an organization called  The Canadian Patient Safety Institute. (CPSI)


The CPSI has produced a brochure called "Safe Care... Accepting No Less"  I recommend that all of our readers read this publication. Just click on the above link to access the brochure.


What will this mean to stroke survivors? In P.E.I., we have a patient safety wing under Health P.E.I. and under that wing there are new tools that promote patient safety.


Tool no. one:  Home Medication List 

Tool no. two:   Know Your Medications pamphlet.

These tools are designed to inform and to protect persons that are at risk of miss use and or abuse of medications.

Please print out or pick up your personal copies of these tools and make use of them to protect yourself.

Survivors and caregivers in other provinces and states are encouraged to check with your local health authority for similar tools that are available in your area.

I will post again soon,

Gary

p.s. Additional important information from Karen McCaffery of Patient Safety, Health P.E.I.

 "The intent of this medication list is to help ensure patients bring an accurate up-to-date list with them when they visit their healthcare provider.  It is the patient's responsiblity to fill out this form and keep it current.  We want to encourage that they include all prescription, non-prescription and over-the-counter medications, including herbals, vitamins and minerals, eye/ear drops, inhalers, nasal spray, patches, liquids, injections, ointments/creams and any samples obtained from a doctor's office.  It is just one tool and patients can still be encouraged to bring in their medications or another medication list, such as the DIS list or pharmacy list.  However, many of the items listed above are not found on the DIS or pharmacy medication lists."


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