1 in 5 hospital patients discharged with unstable vital signs–a likely cause of deaths, readmissions
Twenty percent of people hospitalized are sent home before their vital signs are stable, which can increase their risk of death and likelihood of readmission, a new study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers shows.
The study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, analyzed the medical records of more than 32,000 patients at six providers in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area for red flags within 24 hours of discharge, such as anomalies in heart and breathing rate, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and temperature.
They found such signs in nearly 20 percent of subjects, with elevated heart rate the most common, comprising about 1 in 10 patients. About 13 percent of the patients studied either died or were readmitted, and for those experiencing at least three abnormalities, the risk of death quadrupled, according to the study.
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