YOU HAVE A YELLOW CARD!

How many people in the UK know that there is a yellow card system where they can report adverse reactions to prescribed drugs, vaccinations, inoculations and medicines in general?

I had a vague memory of a reporting system from a radio discussion I heard, two or three years ago, and that is the total sum of it. There has been no repeat media awareness-raising of this service. The reason that reporting was opened to the public was because it was clear doctors were not feeding information they received to the drugs information authority. I recently tried to discuss a reaction with a GP, who was most dismissive of my concerns.

Very cross, I stomped off to one of the local pharmacists who found the yellow card web address for me and commented on what she thought I may have reacted to in the medication I was given. The URL is, I believe, www.yellowcard.gov.uk (The name can be Googled). I chose to reveal my identity and give the details of my community medical practice. You can report anonymously.

There are a number of pages to complete, all pretty easy, I found. You can fill out the forms in stages. It will save and let you back in when you have finished your drink of tea or coffee. I believe you can also update the information you have given. I have yet to try this.

There is a section that lists differing grades of reactions to medicines, from;

‘mild’ ( helpful example descriptions given);through to some more serious levels of injury (again, helpful descriptions given)
and ‘death’, (no description given )…that is obviously final.

Who, though, would with knowledge, report to the yellow card people on your behalf , should you by misfortune, be deceased?

A concern I have, that has loomed larger than when I first expressed it, is the increasing number of people I am coming across who have had bad reactions to the current flu vaccination. More excessive than would be acceptable or expected. None of them knew about the yellow card reporting system.

It is obvious therefore, that unless the Government is given information by people, the government health department will assume, by default, that there are no large numbers of difficulties, as a consequence of limited reporting.

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