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Patients urged to bring their medicines to hospital

take your medicine to hospital graphics

Northampton General Hospital is asking patients and their carers to bring in their own medicines with them for all hospital stays and appointments.

Patients are encouraged to bring all their own medicines when they come to hospital for emergency or scheduled visits including their outpatient clinics.

Pharmacist Siobhan Abrahams said: "Whether your visit is planned or an emergency, you should always bring your routine medicines.  It's important that we have as much information about our patients as possible to allow us to make safe decisions about their treatment and care

“If you come into hospital without your medication, missing a dose may make it less effective. It's also possible that the side-effects of missing your medication can make it harder to diagnose the actual cause of why you needed to come into hospital in the first place.

Siobhan added: "A lot of patients tell me they didn't bring their own medicine because they assumed the hospital would have it available, but it's much safer for patients to continue using the same medicines they use at home."

While everyone is encouraged to bring thier medications, there are some groups of patients for whom it is especially important:

  • People who are taking medication for Parkinson’s disease are particularly vulnerable if they don’t have access to their regular medication. Missing doses can cause serious complications.   
  • People with diabetes who missing their regular insulin doses could be affected by their blood glucose levels going dangerously high which can cause long term effects such as damage to their eyes or kidneys.  It could even mean having to stay in hospital longer than necessary.
  • People with asthma or pulmonary conditions who don’t have access to their regular medication could see an unnecessary exacerbation of their condition. Bringing in their usual inhalers prevents delay in treatment as there are many different types of inhalers and it is not possible for the wards to keep all of the varieties in stock.
Posted on Wednesday 25th July 2018
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