Some people do not have the luxury of scheduling an appointment with a provider and waiting for days, weeks or even months to get medical attention. Those who seek immediate care at a hospital emergency department typically expect to be seen within a few hours, at most, and although the medical team that helps a patient is probably unfamiliar with other aspects of the person’s history, every person involved has the same responsibility to avoid mistakes.

Researchers performing a small study over a time period of 14 years discovered that many elderly people who were not living in long-term care facilities had higher chances of developing a disability after a trip to the emergency department. The results seem to indicate that there may be issues with the procedures used to discharge the study participants when they left the hospital after receiving care.

Those who went to the emergency room for an issue were nearly twice as likely to die as those with a similar situation who did not go. Also, for this population, the risk of nursing home admittance within six months of the trip to the ER was over three times higher, and the likelihood of disability was also significantly higher. Elderly patients who went from ER to a hospital room had the highest chances of all for death, disability, or admittance to a long-term care facility.

No one should be afraid of sustaining greater harm from seeking emergency medical attention. People who develop new issues after an ER visit may want to speak to an attorney.

Source: Fox News, “Elderly face increased disability risk after emergency room visit,” Jan. 30, 2017