20 Percent of Discharged Patients Leave with Unstable Vital Signs

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Aug 17, 2016 in Medical Malpractice

patient signing papersA new University of Texas study found that almost 20 percent of adult hospital patients are discharged with unstable vital signs. Thirteen percent of these patients died or were readmitted to the hospital within 30 days.

Ten percent of patients were discharged with an elevated heart rate, which was the most common unstable vital sign observed among the 32,835 study participants. Other abnormalities noted include body temperature, respiratory rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation.

According to researchers, being discharged with unstable vials increased the patient’s chances of dying or being readmitted to the hospital. Those discharged with three or more unstable vital signs were four times more likely to die after being discharged.

Many of these patients went to post-acute care hospitals, but they still experienced high rates of death and readmission. That is why researchers are suggesting that other post-discharge environments could have been more appropriate for many of these patients.

The study findings highlight the importance of reviewing vital signs to determine a patient’s readiness for discharge. Often, computerized algorithms are used to determine one’s risk of readmission. However, the stability of the patient’s vital signs is a more objective way to determine if a patient should be discharged, according to a senior author of the study.

Researchers advised that patients be discharged with caution when a single unstable vital sign is observed. Patients with multiple unstable vital signs should not be discharged and should remain at the facility for treatment.

The study was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine on Monday.

If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one due to hospital negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Contact the medical malpractice lawyer s at Stewart Bell, PLLC to discuss your options for recovering compensation.

Call 304-345-1700 or complete our Free Case Review form now.

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