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After Hospital Discharge, Other Ills May Land Seniors Back in Again
Date:1/9/2013

as making appointments for follow-up care and sending patients home with an adequate supply of prescription medications.

"Those are the types of things we've traditionally left up to families," Boutwell said.

Whether it's necessary to officially recognize a "post-hospital syndrome" is not clear, said Boutwell. But she praised Krumholz' article for helping to bring the issue to the attention of more doctors.

For now, Krumholz said hospital patients and their families can be aware that the few weeks after discharge are a "period of risk and vulnerability."

So it would be wise to take some precautions, he said. These include not driving a car for at least a week or so, and steering clear of people with flu-like infections, since your immune function may be compromised.

More information

Learn more about taking care of yourself after hospitalization from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

SOURCES: Harlan Krumholz, M.D., professor, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.; Amy E. Boutwell, M.D., president, Collaborative Healthcare Strategies, internist, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, Mass.; Jan. 10, 2013, New England Journal of Medicine


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