Restraints in Hospitalized Dementia Patients

Studies have shown that using restraints with older adults yields poor outcomes. Things like functional decline, decreased peripheral circulation, cardiovascular stress, incontinence, muscle atrophy, pressure ulcers, infections, agitation, social isolation, psychiatric morbidity, serious injuries, and even death have been known to occur. Those with the highest risks for these outcomes are older patients with dementia, […]

Synthetic Stool: RePOOPulate

Clostridium difficile is an unfortunate but somewhat common condition of fecal incontinence. While there are “cures” for this condition, including stool transplants, recurrences happen in about 25% of cases. To help lower this number, Dr. Emma Allen-Vercoe and colleagues developed and tested a laboratory-made synthetic stool sample which incorporated all the bacteria make-up of a […]

Long-Term Care Commission

Recently, Congress repealed the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act as part of their effort to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” Because the CLASS Act was intended to create a nation-wide insurance plan, Congress has decided to create a panel called the Long-Term Care Commission to construct and more financially viable alternative now that […]

What’s the Best Oral Anticoagulant for Atrial Fibrillation?

Approximately 2.3 million Americans are affected by atrial fibrillation, the most common sustained arrhythmia. As with a lot of the conditions we highlight, the risk of atrial fibrillation increases with age. Anticoagulants have been used for years in patients with atrial fibrillation to prevent strokes, however, all types of antithrombotic therapy have risks and benefits. […]

Risk Mitigation in Long-Term Care

Risk management is important in any healthcare setting, but the more complex the patient population, the more challenges this poses. With long-term care (LTC) facilities housing people who have severe physical and/or cognitive impairments, multiple comorbidities, and on numerous medications, risks abound. Some of these risks are relatively easy to identify, such as the risk […]

Medicare Changes in 2013

While 2012 was an active year of change for long-term care (LTC) providers, 2013 is expected to be even more turbulent as we get closer to the implementation of major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which are scheduled to occur in 2014. As a result, 2013 will be focused on four areas: insurance […]

Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome

Polypharmacy and drug interactions are a risk with any medication. In this month’s issue, Julie Pullen, MS, and Charlotta Eaton, MD, present a case of a patient with schizophrenia who developed neuroleptic malignant syndrome when two medications didn’t mix well. After being admitted to the emergency department with a persistent cough and chest pain, the […]