There are many reasons people end up in the hospital: surgery to correct health problems, chronic diseases, injuries resulting from accidents. During their time in the hospital, most people expect to get better. It appears, however, that hospitalization may result in an increased risk of developing another adverse health condition.
A study of Medicare patients published last year found that nearly one-fifth, or approximately 2.6 million, of Medicare patients discharged from a hospital experience another, different, acute medical problem in the 30 days following discharge which required another period of hospitalization.
This trend of re-hospitalization, often for a medical condition that’s distinct from the one that resulted in the original hospitalization, is called post-hospital syndrome – that is, a specific period of vulnerability that arises as a result of their original hospital stay.
What are the causes of post-hospital syndrome? In addition to the original acute illness which resulted in the initial period of hospitalization, the study found that, during their hospital stay, patients often experienced substantial stress.
For example, patients were often sleep deprived or experienced disruptions of their circadian sleep rhythms, were poorly nourished, experienced pain and discomfort, were placed in mentally challenging situations, received medications that altered their cognition or their physical functions, and/or experienced periods of inactivity due to bed rest. All of these stressors can result in an enhanced risk for the development of other acute medical conditions.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of medical treatment received and are seeking a qualified medical malpractice attorney, contact Los Angeles doctor-turned-lawyer Bradley I. Kramer for a free consultation today.