Tags: hospital | policies | sicken | starve | patients

US Hospitals Sicken, Starve Patients

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By    |   Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 03:23 PM

Hospital procedures that require patients to fast for long periods of time and be subjected to high noise levels may sicken up to half of already seriously ill patients, a prominent surgeon says.

Martin Mackary, M.D., a Johns Hopkins University surgeon and prominent patient safety advocate, is calling on hospitals to reform emergency room, surgical, and other medical protocols that he says can make already seriously ill patients worse.

“Surgery takes a huge physiologic toll on the body, and forcing sick people, especially the elderly, who are already in a frail state, to fast for eight to 12 hours, or even days, before surgery, only amplifies that stress on the body,” says Dr. Makary and his co-authors in a commentary appearing in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety.

Hospitals also have notoriously high noise levels, which can prevent patients from sleeping. The resulting sleep deprivation, added to nutritional woes, could result in even healthy people developing a weakened immune system, Dr. Mackary said.

While it is necessary for surgical patients, or those undergoing certain tests, to fast for a certain number of hours, hospitals now require overnight fasting for operations scheduled in the morning. But often the procedures are postponed, resulting in patients being withheld food for several more hours.

Such issues have been a problem in the past, but now in the face of hospital staffing shortages and cutbacks, they have grown far worse, Dr. Mackary said.


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Hospital procedures that require patients to fast and be subjected to high noise levels may sicken up to half of already seriously ill patients, a prominent surgeon says.
hospital, policies, sicken, starve, patients
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2015-23-07
Wednesday, 07 Oct 2015 03:23 PM
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