Doctor Housecalls Blog

Healthcare related news and updates



Delirium May Be as Deadly as a Heart Attack

Delirium is a symptom that almost everyone has experienced whether first hand or through a relative or friend. Seeing the person experiencing delirium become confused can be heartbreaking. Medical Xpress interviewed people who have experienced delirium of a family member. “To say our dad became unrecognisable is a gross understatement. Emergency hip surgery gave way to a delirium that enveloped our father in agony, the likes of which we never knew could exist in the world of medicine,” says the daughter of Mr B (Medical Express, 2017). “We stood at his bedside and watched helplessly as he moved from surgical anesthesia onto pain medication and then into a hyper-agitated delirium that nearly killed him. For more than a week, he was unable to rest, sleep, be soothed, reasoned with or communicated with – all while we were given no explanation or diagnosis of what was happening to him.”
Medical Xpress also reported that a quarter of hospitalized elderly people experience delirium, and it has as high of a death rate as heart attacks. According to the article, it is best to prevent delirium from ever occurring. The best way to prevent an episode is by taking care of the person’s needs. Family members and caretakers should help the unwell people get out of bed, get a good night’s sleep, eat and drink, and use their glasses and hearing aids. It is also important to detect delirium early so that any medications causing it can be addressed early on. However, there is still a lot to be done in the journey to improving care for this serious condition.

 



A Potential Common Cause of Fainting in Elderly Adults Discovered

Researchers may have uncovered a common cause of fainting among elderly adults: a pulmonary embolism – or a clot in the lungs.

Among 560 patients hospitalized for a first-time fainting episode, one in six had a pulmonary embolism. Health Day reported on the findings, which were originally published in the New England Journal of Medicine.



A new study from researchers at the Texas A&M Health Science School of Public Health reports that 15 percent of eldery patients in residential care facilities suffer injuries from falls every year. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Aging and Health.

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/local/prognosis/article/Elderly-in-residential-care-facilities-at-risk-7378949.php


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Loss of visual acuity tied to increased risk of earlier death in seniors.

by Dr. Steven J. Lipsky MD, FACEP

Advances in medicine are allowing people to live longer but what people truly desire is a longer quality of independent life. New research is pointing to healthy eyes as the answer.

The Health News Report “Shots” published by NPR (8/21, Shute), released a summary from a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology on the cause and effect of early death in seniors being tied to vision problems. Scientists looked at data gathered over ten years following individuals 64 to 84 years of age. They found that individuals who lost “visual acuity equivalent to one letter on an eye chart each year had a 16 percent increase in mortality risk over eight years.” Why? Because seniors suffered a loss of independence making it harder to pay bills, do housework and otherwise manage their lives. In short, “an eye exam may be the ticket to a longer life…because good vision is essential for being able to shop, manage money and live independently.” Reduce your risks and visit your eye doctor annually. Problems may be easily corrected with new glasses or contact lenses and can give you an increase lease on an independent life.


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