Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

12Mar/08Off

Watch out for live-ins!

A foolproof analysis of health vs. hospital stay
Figure 1: A foolproof analysis of health vs. hospital stay.

As is obvious from the figure above, most some people who are admitted to the hospital are fairly sick on admission, starting at point (x) on the curve. We load them up with antibiotics, fluids, and vitamins, and usually by day two (y) we've made them better! Hooray! Everyone is happy, they go home and tell their family how great the doctors were, we go home and try to relax by drinking our livers into submission.

My concern today is patients who go from (y) to (z). You see, everyone most people some people in the hospital are sick, which means that it's an ideal place to swap diseases. Think of it as day care, but for the elderly.

Problem is, the longer you stay, the more likely you are to catch something REALLY nasty, especially since you've got doctors, nurses, and techs walking around poking fingers into every orifice you knew you had, then forgetting to wash their hands, then repeating the same on the next patient.

Patients are always surprised when I try to kick them out ("but doctor, I'm still bleeding copious quantities of bright red blood from my ass!" or "but doctor, my body is rejecting my own heart and I can't breathe without a ventilator!")... but what they fail to realize is that if you weren't sick when you came in, you sure as hell will be unless I can kick you out before you catch something. And let me tell you - hospital acquired illnesses are far worse than their community-based brethren. It's the difference between 3-5 days of watery diarrhea and shitting out your own intestines†.

So please, folks. Don't angle to stay in the hospital any longer than you absolutely have to. I know I, for one, do my best to not be there as much as possible††.

C. Difficile in the House!
††That's just a little joke, see.

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  1. my fav is when the patient is ready to go at point y but because of social issues they end up staying an extra 2-3 days and deteriorate to point z at which case they must stay another week. During that week you’re hoping that the social issues will be straightened out, only to discover they were waiting until the patient was back at point y to actually start working on the social issues again. And so repeats the process.

  2. My favorite is when the family threatens to sue because of the infected decubitous ulcer the patient developed after THEY didn’t want to take care of her when she came home, and social work had trouble finding an appropriate nursing facility….

  3. Happens LOTS in acute rehab, the healthy knee replacement patient who is making fantastic progress with PT, gets the dreaded c.diff and has to stay longer…..*sigh*

    I used to be negative about how quickly patients were discharged from the acute hospitals but your chart was a HEALTHY reminder for me to change my attitude.

  4. Howdy there,Excellent blogging dude! i’m Tired of using RSS feeds and do you use twitter?so i can follow you there:D.
    PS:Do you thought putting video to this blog posts to keep the readers more entertained?I think it works.Sincerely, Hal Frondorf


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