This article from CNN is a must read for every emergency responder. We've been talking about the dangerous combination of prescription medication and over-the-counter supplements in classes for quite some time. The growth of supplement use among all age ranges in the Untied States has been increasing steadily since the 1980's.
"...One in 25 people in the study, or about 2.2 million people, were taking a potentially risky combination of medications. That number jumped to one in 10 among men who were 75 to 85 years old."
With particular attention to the elder population, we have to be aware that; as the number of prescription medication rises, so will the chance of an adverse medication reaction. Adverse medication reactions account for thousands of hospital admissions and requests for emergency medical service. In many cases, traditional pre-hospital education is lacking in the area of medication awareness and getting a medication profile. Responders must take into account patient medication and potential interactions with OTC supplements as a contributing factor.
Tune in to my podcast, Mitigation Journal: The All-Hazards Podcast, we'll be talking more about this issue in the near future.