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1 in 3 Patients Hospitalized Develop Anemia

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By    |   Thursday, 18 May 2017 04:48 PM

One in three patients hospitalized develops a drop in their red blood cell count as a result. The condition is called hospital-acquired anemia, and the lower the red blood cell count, the higher the risk of death or readmission.

"This study shines a spotlight on a very common but underappreciated risk of hospitalization, hospital-acquired anemia, which has traditionally been viewed as an incidental change in the red blood count of no significance," said the researchers from UT Southwestern Medical Center. "However, our results showed that hospital-acquired anemia was associated with worse clinical outcomes after leaving the hospital so it needs to be taken more seriously."

Hospital-acquired anemia is defined as having a normal blood count on admission but developing anemia during the course of hospitalization.

The most severe form of hospital-acquired anemia was linked to a 39 percent increase in the odds of being readmitted or dying within 30 days after hospital discharge compared with patients who didn't develop anemia.

Researchers found that the two strongest predictors of developing moderate or severe hospital-acquired anemia are length of hospital stay and undergoing major surgery.

The study also exposes several factors linked to the risk of developing hospital-acquired anemia. "Our findings suggest that reducing blood loss during major surgeries and reducing unnecessary testing during hospital stays may lower a patient's risk of developing severe hospital-acquired anemia, and potentially improve their recovery," said lead researcher Dr. Anil Makam.

The study was published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Other dangers face hospitalized patients. One of the most common risks is medication errors. A report from the Institute of Medicine speculated that medication mistakes are severely underreported, and as many as 450,000 incidents occur every year.

Another risk is the danger of an infection with a bacteria or virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are about 1.7 million infections every year — including MRSA — acquired in health facilities.

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One in three patients hospitalized develops a drop in their red blood cell count as a result. The condition is called hospital-acquired anemia, and the lower the red blood cell count, the higher the risk of death or readmission."This study shines a spotlight on a very...
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Thursday, 18 May 2017 04:48 PM
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