Added: Tue. Feb 12, 2013 1:29pm
ALICE HORNBAKER SHOW
ON AIR WMKV 89.3 FM
Hello again. This is Alice Hornbaker for WMKV 89.3 FM and
wmkvfm.org streaming my column “Life After 50” around the world on the Internet
Mondays and Thursdays at 2:20 p.m. and Fridays at 8:50 am. And as a blog on
growingbolder.com, Facebook and Linkedin.com.
Have you ever heard the term, “Post-hospital syndrome”? If you
haven’t, you will now because a new report says one in five Medicare patients
have had it and because of it, return to hospitalization after a stay within a
month of leaving the hospital.
What? Aren’t hospitalizations supposed to make you better?
Well, the problem is not because of a patient’s previous illness flaring
up again, but rather because the patients have a new problem perhaps caused by the
trauma itself from being hospitalized in the first place.
Well, anything that affects how we feel as we are being treated
while ill or even having a toxic self-perception about the degree of our illnesses,
In an article by Liz Szabo in USA Today she wrote that patients,
many of them seniors (again 1 in 5 Medicare patients), go to hospitals for one
problem, but leave with another.
That is how Harlan
Krumbolz, a professor at Yale School of Medicine, created the term “post
hospital syndrome.” It means a temporary period of increased vulnerability to
all kinds of risks from falls to heart attacks after leaving the hospital.
Wow. It happened to me. I went to a hospital in December in an
emergency vehicle diagnosed with pneumonia.
Three days later I was discharged. Overnight the ETM’s again took
me back to the hospital after a medication I’d come home with made me faint.
This Yale study showed the post-hospital syndrome isn’t because of
poor hospital care or even medical mistakes, but the routine itself of being a
Patients often discover that once in the ER or admitted into a
room they are constantly being interrupted to do a test or take a pill or check
vitals. Often too it is the trauma of just too much noise or too bright lights.
I remember at first being put in to a crowded room with another
patient who had about a half dozen noisy visitors. I almost went ballistic. Quickly
they found a single room for me.
The author of this study said hospitals today, even as they
compete for patients, many of whom are Medicare patients, also must address these patients’ trauma
issues of being in a hospital and even in leaving too soon. He added that the goal must be to make a
hospital stay less toxic, more healing and somehow more soothing.
Having just experienced much of the above, I say good luck with
For WMKV 89.3 FM and wmkvfm.org on the Internet, this is Alice