Reuters had an interesting article on a recent study found in JAMA Internal Medicine.  Numerous nursing home residents develop preventable health problems after they are returned from the hospital in stable condition, a new study shows.  More than half of the complications were related to poor residential care resulting in preventable conditions like pressure ulcers, skin tears and falls, the study found.  Another 28% of adverse events involved infections. A total of 38% of the complications were serious.  7.4% were life-threatening. 2.1% were fatal.  About 70% of the adverse events were preventable, researchers report in JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Adverse events are occurring due to transition related issues (such as being released from the hospital too soon as well as deconditioning requiring increased support from nursing home staff including monitoring to prevent falls, turning in bed to prevent/heal pressure ulcers, and gentler handling to prevent skin tears,” said

“Families should advocate for their loved ones and make sure they do not leave the hospital too early,” Dr. Alok Kapoor, lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester said by email.

“It is important to realize that a nursing home patient who was recently hospitalized is at very high risk for problems over the next several weeks,” Bhatt said by email. “So don’t think they are out of the woods yet.”

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