Post-Hospital Syndrome Affects Millions Every Year

July 17th, 2014 at 10:58 am

Post-hospital syndromepost-hospital syndrome, Westport malpractice attorney, post-hospital illnesses, promote healing, medicare patients, new medical problem is quickly becoming a serious health risk that affects millions of people each year. Elderly patients are especially vulnerable to the syndrome, with one in five seniors Medicare patients needing to return to the hospital within 30 days of being charged. This represents almost 3 million patients per year.

But these returns to the hospital are not related to the patient’s original medical condition. Instead, patients develop a new medical problem that can be traced back to trauma from the original hospitalization.

According to a study done by professors from Yale Medical School, which looked at more than 3 million hospitalizations of Medicare patients, 90 percent of people who were initially admitted because of a heart attack return back to the hospital within 30 days after discharge with a different problem. For patients admitted with pneumonia, 78 percent returned. And 65 percent of patients who suffered from heart failure were back within a month.

Post-hospital illnesses often include infections, gastrointestinal conditions, heart failure, nutrition-related problems, imbalances of electrolytes, and trauma.

The lead researcher of the study, Dr. Harlan Krumholz, points out that instead of fostering a healing environment, hospitals instead expose the patients to a large amount of stressors which only may only weaken an already weak patient more. “The result is that hospitalized patients are often deconditioned, in pain, malnourished, stressed, with circadian disruptions,” he said. “And we ask why patients return to the hospital? Maybe it’s what we’ve done to them.”

Krumholz says there are things that hospitals should be doing to help promote healing in patients, such as eliminating unnecessary tests and procedures and making sure patients are getting enough rest and proper nutrition. He also recommends that both physicians and other hospital staff take a more pro-active approach in patient wellness and preventing these medical complications.

If you have suffered an injury or illness as a result of negligent medical care, contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to find out what compensation you may be entitled to for pain and loss.

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