OBJECTIVE: To investigate how often elderly patients are discharged from an accident and emergency (A&E) department with unrecognized but remediable problems. METHODS: Over a period of six months, 174 elderly patients fulfilling inclusion criteria for the study were discharged from A&E, and of these 97 (56%) agreed to be reviewed in the day hospital. They were assessed by a doctor, nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, and social worker. A full blood count, urea and electrolytes, liver and thyroid function tests, a chest radiograph, and an electrocardiogram were performed. A Barthel activity of daily living index was performed on the first visit and before discharge. RESULTS: 28% had missed diagnoses which benefited from day hospital attendance and a further 13 patients had been admitted before they could attend day hospital. Those patients presenting with falls and living alone constituted a high risk group. CONCLUSIONS: Elderly patients attending A&E merit special consideration to detect underlying medical or social problems.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.