People visit the hospital to feel better, whether they are experiencing a common cold, a severe injury or life-threatening illness. However, there are some circumstances where patients leave the hospital in worst shape than they came in.
Unfortunately, hospitals are not the optimal environment to recover in, according to Consumer Reports. They are loud, busy and full of other people who are sick. It creates the perfect storm for post-hospital syndrome – a health problem you experience after hospital admission and usually results in re-entry into the clinic.
The hidden risks of a hospital stay
Several risks may cause post-hospital syndrome among patients. One of the largest concerns is the lack of sleep. Most hospitals are hectic and are noisy at all hours of the day. It makes it incredibly difficult for patients to rest properly. There are also challenges such as bright lights on hospital floors and staff checks that prevent patients from adequate sleep schedules.
Some patients also experience pressure ulcers, commonly known as bedsores, by staying in the same position for too long. It may form over a day and cause severe health problems, such as infections.
Speaking of infections, hospitals are a breeding ground for germs and possible infections. Hospital staff and visitors can easily spread germs to you and increase the likelihood of infection. There is also the possibility of developing an infection around IVs or catheters. Make sure to alert any healthcare staff if you noticed redness around your IV.
Fighting off the risks
Luckily, patients have the power to keep themselves healthy when they leave the clinic by:
- Asking for accommodations when necessary – Most medical staff won’t be able to take requests for patients. However, if you notice you can’t sleep or experiencing severe sleep deprivation, ask your nurse if you could switch rooms or at least turn off the lights during the night time.
- Don’t be afraid to move around – To prevent ulcers, you need to take time to move around. You can even use a cane or walk with someone to prevent any accidents. If you aren’t mobile, you may ask the nurse to move your position in the bed safely.
- Keep your space clean – Hospitals are very clean by nature, but make sure to ask visitors to use wipes or wash their hands before touching you. Also, use wipes to clean surfaces around you regularly to prevent the risk of infections.
If you find yourself in worse shape after a hospital visit, there also may be a risk of medical malpractice involved. Make sure to confer with another healthcare professional before filing any claims in Pennsylvania.