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What is an adverse event?

An adverse event is a health problem that results from the medical care you receive. Some adverse events are preventable, others are not. Preventable adverse events are those associated with error or mistakes. Adverse events can affect your health in minor to major ways. If you have suffered an adverse event it’s important to keep notes about it. If possible you should discuss it with your healthcare team, as it could be preventable in the future for you or someone else. In this way, adverse events can provide patients and their healthcare team opportunities to learn. Talking about them openly and honestly helps that to happen. For example, if you have a reaction to latex gloves, the next time to go visit a care provider, you can tell them about it so it doesn’t happen again.

An adverse event is an unexpected medical problem that happens during treatment with a drug or other therapy. Adverse events do not have to be caused by the drug or therapy, and they may be mild, moderate, or severe. Also called adverse effect.

This answer is based on source information from The National Cancer Institute.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.