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Hospitalizations After Sepsis Resolution Often Preventable

Readmissions often for diseases, conditions that can be treated after first discharge

TUESDAY, March 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) — When patients survive sepsis, it’s common for them to be readmitted to the hospital within a few months, but this can often be avoided, according to research published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Hallie Prescott, M.D., a researcher at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues focused on older Americans who were hospitalized for sepsis.

The researchers found that of 2,843 elderly Americans who survived severe sepsis, 43 percent were readmitted to the hospital within three months. But anywhere from 22 to 42 percent of those readmissions were potentially preventable, Prescott told HealthDay.

That’s because the underlying reasons included problems such as pneumonia, dehydration, urinary tract infection, and worsening of existing heart or lung disease. And, the authors said, those causes are avoidable — at least in theory. Those few months after a hospital discharge are a “critical period” for older adults with chronic ills, Prescott said — and families should not hesitate to ask questions about what to expect during recovery.

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