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Introduction The contribution of medication harm to rehospitalisation and adverse patient outcomes after an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) needs exploration. Rehospitalisation is costly to both patients and the healthcare facility. Following an AMI, patients are at risk of medication harm as they are often older, have multiple comorbidities and polypharmacy. This study aimed to quantify and evaluate medication harm causing unplanned rehospitalisation after an AMI. Methods This was a retrospective cohort study of patients discharged from a quaternary hospital post-AMI. All rehospitalisations within 18 months were identified using medical record review and coding data. The primary outcome measure was medication harm rehospitalisation. Preventability, causality and severity assessments of medication harm were conducted. Results A total of 1564 patients experienced an AMI and 415 (26.5%) were rehospitalised. Eighty-nine patients (5.7% of total population; 6.0% of those discharged) experienced a total of 101 medication harm events. Those with medication harm were older (p=0.007) and had higher rates of heart failure (p=0.005), chronic kidney disease (CKD) (p=0.046), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (p=0.037) and a prior history of ischaemic heart disease (p=0.005). Gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, acute kidney injury (AKI) and hypotension were the most common medication harm events. Forty percent of events were avoidable and 84% were classed as ‘serious’. Furosemide, antiplatelets and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi) were the most commonly implicated medications. The median time to medication harm rehospitalisation was 79 days (interquartile range [IQR]: 16-200 days). Conclusion Medication harm causes unplanned rehospitalisation in 5.7% of all AMI patients (1 in 17 patients; 6.0% of those discharged). The majority of harm was serious and occurred within the first 200 days of discharge. This study highlights that measures to attenuate the risk of medication harm rehospitalisation are essential, including post-discharge medication management.

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