Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

50+: Live Better, Longer

Font Size

1 in 5 Elderly Patients Injured by Medical Care

Sickest patients at greatest risk, researchers say


Each additional month of age was associated with a 1 percent increase in the risk of a medical injury. In addition, the risk of experiencing an adverse medical event increased by 27 percent for each chronic condition a person had, the report revealed.

The death rate among those who had experienced a medical injury was nearly twice as high as among patients who hadn't had one, Carter said.

The consequences of these injuries were lasting. "We are seeing increased health care costs over a year following the injury with the greater use of medical services," said Carter.

Dr. David Katz is director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center and president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine. He said: "We have long known that medical care, while pledged to avoid harm above all, actually imposes quite a bit of it. Medical injury is all too common, and adverse effects of treatment are common, even in the absence of error."

But, he added, a process of continuous assessment and systems-level reform is needed to reduce medical errors to the minimum.

"There is also need to cultivate more health by living well," he said. "Medical injuries occurred in the context of treatment, and were more common with more serious conditions. That older patients with several chronic diseases and on multiple medications are more prone to adverse medical events is less than shocking."

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Eating for a longer, healthier life.
woman biking
How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
womans finger tied with string
Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
man reviewing building plans
Do you know how to stay healthy as you age?
fast healthy snack ideas
how healthy is your mouth
dog on couch
doctor holding syringe
champagne toast
Two women wearing white leotards back to back
Man feeding woman
two senior women laughing