Pneumonia in the elderly and hospitalization

A group of Canadian researchers has developed a set of guidelines with the objective to avoid hospitalization for elderly residents in nursing facilities affected by pneumonia. To verify safety and feasibility of this therapeutic approach, m. Loeb (McMaster University, Hamilton) and her colleagues have chosen ten facilities followed the guidelines, while the other ten continued to follow the standard procedures. When a patient showing symptoms of pneumonia, the staff of the nursing home could make a chest plate using a mobile unit. Following the new guidelines, the staff had to determine whether the patient was able to feed themselves properly and had to check their heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and oxygen level in blood. If even one of these parameters was not satisfied with the levels set out, you had to be hospitalized; According to Loeb, in fact, at that point the transfer to a suitable structure is indispensable. Otherwise, the patient was transferred to the hospital and treatment was administered at the nursing home. The study covered 327 patients in Group guidelines and 353 in the structures that have followed the standard procedure. The shelter was carried out for 34 patients of the first group (10%) and 76 of the second (22%). Mortality rates were similar for the two groups (respectively 8% and 9%). At the end of the study was carried out a series of interviews on patients and their families; There has been a general preference towards the treatment inside the home. Furthermore, according to Loeb, avoid hospitalization enables considerable savings on health spending. The next step, according to Loeb, is the further development of this method for large-scale application.


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