Heads You Win, Tails I Lose

Heads You Win, Tails I Lose

Kevin Pho, M.D in his medical blog, Kevinmd.com, invites a discussion concerning whether elderly patients should choose premature death at home rather than being subjected to the complications that are associated with geriatric admissions.  He concludes that elderly patients admitted to emergency departments should be given the opportunity to choose going home rather than being admitted to a hospital.

An elderly patient should not be forced to forgo necessary treatment for a readily treatable condition and thereby face certain death in order to avoid death by “complications” faced by elderly patients who are admitted. This is certainly a choice between a rock and a hard place.

It is a mistake to assume an elderly patient cannot safely be cared for in a hospital setting. The morbidity our elders face is to a great extent avoidable by assuring that they are kept clean, hydrated fed and as active as their condition permits. Adverse changes in their condition should be promptly recognized and properly and timely treated. This is the level of care all patients deserve.

Because elders are more fragile they require more attention but tend to get less. Elders suffer more complications and more serious consequences not simply because they are fragile but more importantly because they to not receive the surveillance and attention they require.

The costs imposed on medicare are magnified because of inadequate treatment which results in needlessly prolonged geriatric admissions and re-admissions and prolonged and useless rehabilitation admissions.

When these patients fail to thrive they are simply fulfilling expectations. This is a self-fulfilling prophecy. The expectations need to be changed.

2 responses to “Heads You Win, Tails I Lose”

  1. Jerry Beckwith says:

    Greetings. I am a 52 year young male with many concerns in reference to a Hospital I am spending a substantial time in.
    The problems I see and have experienced first hand are as follows;
    I will estimate that 85% of my time,I never get my pain meds.or anti-biotics on time,thus causing my pain level to peak,then subside,then peak.
    My understanding is that anti-biotics are to be consistent to ensure the meds.work properly.Same with pain meds.
    I have a roommate now that must wait far too long to get his meds. They NEVER turn him,thus creating bed sores.
    I have takin this problem to the highest of authority.For the past two days,they are prompt to take care of me.
    Also,and more importantly! there are appr.22-25 other patients in this establishment that are complaining about the same issues.Many are in worse condition than myself,afraid if they complain,it will be worse for them. my heart aches for them as they have no one to speak up on their behalf.
    My question to any and all here is; Is there an Adocate Title that I may pursue in my near future to help these people?
    I am at a position in my life to change my occupation and my heart is Totally attached to these that are suffering needlessly. if anyone can give me some type of information,I want to begin the fight of stopping this type of negligence. I Thank you in advance Jerry Beckwith.

    • There is no funding source for a true patient advocate other than lawyers who like me represent seriously injured patients. I would rather represent patients to help them avoid serious permanent injuries. You could become a doctor nurse or hospital administrator, but if you tried to advocate for and insist upon remedies, You would soon be out of a job.

      Tort reformers nationwide attack and try to legislatively limit the ability of patients to seek compensation for needless injuries by restricting patient rights and condemning lawyers who are the only remaining voice for such patients.

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