Tags: emergency room | er | admission | hospital | seniors | er boarding

Seniors Increasingly Stranded in ER Waiting Rooms

crowded hospital emergency room waiting room
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 10 June 2024 04:55 PM EDT

Physicians who staff emergency rooms across the country say a bad situation is getting worse. Patients are experiencing painfully long delays waiting to be admitted to a hospital ─ an issue called ER boarding. According to USA Today, seniors are the most likely and frequent victims of boarding since they account for nearly 20% of ER visits.

An estimated 10% of patients are boarded in ERs before hospital admission and between 30% to 50% of these are older adults. Dr. Aisha Terry, an associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University and president of the board of the American College of Emergency Physicians called the problem “a public health crisis.”

Avoid Top Hospital Screwups With This Critical Handbook… FREE!

Doctors said staff shortages are contributing to the crisis that is now worse than during the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic. They added that hospital administrators set more beds aside for lucrative procedures, leaving patients stranded in the ER. Of course, our aging population also adds fuel to the fire, causing a high demand for hospital services.

Frail seniors with multiple health issues are more likely to suffer serious consequences when left stranded in the ER for hours, even as long as a day, confined to stretchers, gurneys or just chairs. A French study revealed that older patients who spent a night in the emergency department had a higher mortality rate once they were admitted to the hospital and an increased risk of adverse events, such as falls, infections, heart attacks and strokes, compared to those who were admitted to a room before midnight.

Hospitals are not required to report how common ER boarding is since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services discharged a boarding measure in 2021. However, some hospitals have publicly highlighted their plights asking for more beds. Massachusetts General Hospital said that ER boarding rates increased 32% from October 2022 to September 2023. Patients admitted to the hospital at the end of that period spent an average of 14 hours in the ER and 26% spent more than 24 hours, says USA Today.

Experts recommend that the following tips could help mitigate the risks of ER boarding:

• Have someone with you who can act as an advocate

• Bring extra medication and have a list of your prescription drugs.

• Make sure you have your eyeglasses and hearing aids with you to prevent confusion, and if you’re able, get up and walk around.

• Bring things to help pass the time, such as books, magazines, or music.

Protect Your Health: Get the #1 Guide on How to Navigate Hospital Care… More HERE!

• Consider using eye masks and ear plugs to reduce the sensory overload of an emergency room. Try to bring food and drink with you to stay nourished and hydrated in case of an extended wait.

• Friends or caregivers who accompany older adults to the ER should stay with patients even at their bedside to ensure they eat, drink, get to the bathroom and take necessary medication.

© 2024 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.


Health-News
Physicians who staff emergency rooms across the country say a bad situation is getting worse. Patients are experiencing painfully long delays waiting to be admitted to a hospital ─ an issue called ER boarding. According to USA Today, seniors are the most likely and frequent...
emergency room, er, admission, hospital, seniors, er boarding
507
2024-55-10
Monday, 10 June 2024 04:55 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.

Sign up for Newsmax’s Daily Newsletter

Receive breaking news and original analysis - sent right to your inbox.

(Optional for Local News)
Privacy: We never share your email address.
Join the Newsmax Community
Read and Post Comments
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
 
Find Your Condition
Get Newsmax Text Alerts
TOP

The information presented on this website is not intended as specific medical advice and is not a substitute for professional medical treatment or diagnosis. Read Newsmax Terms and Conditions of Service.

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved