DrugTeaser

Over-The-Counter Drugs: A Prescription For Confusion

At Able Care Pharmacy & Medical Supplies in Enfield, Ashraf Moustafa often tries to avert disasters involving drugs displayed on his store’s shelves. Moustafa, the pharmacy manager, recently spoke to an elderly woman seeking ways to treat dark blue patches on her arms. Instead of suggesting any remedies, he asked the woman what medicines she was taking and discovered that she was dangerously mixing over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs with aspirin and the prescription blood thinner, Plavix. He sent the woman to the hospital, fearing that she was suffering from internal bleeding. “People have the impression that if a drug is approved for over-the-counter use, then it must be much safer than prescription medicine,” Moustafa says. “That’s when trouble happens.”

Many consumers mistakenly assume that over-the-counter drugs can do no harm.

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Waiting Room Times

Long ER Waits: Half Of CT Hospitals Over National Average Of 28 Minutes

In more than half of Connecticut’s emergency rooms, the waiting time to see a health-care provider exceeds the national average of 28 minutes – a problem that experts say could get worse, as thousands more residents obtain health insurance. The average wait can stretch to an hour or more at Rockville General, Manchester Memorial, Bridgeport, Waterbury and Hartford hospitals, according to a C-HIT review of federal data. The statewide average waiting time is 30 minutes. The longest wait time is at Hartford Hospital, where patients were not seen for 82 minutes, on average; the shortest wait of 14 minutes is at Windham Hospital, the data compiled by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) through 2012 show. Officials at Hartford and Bridgeport hospitals claim shorter wait times than the federal data.

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