Study: 'Post-hospital syndrome' can be risk factor for elective surgery

Being hospitalized in the days that lead up to an elective surgery can lead to what is known as "post-hospital syndrome" in patients. A new study shows PHS patients are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of being under the knife.

Researchers from Chicago-based Loyola University Health System analyzed records from 57,988 California patients who underwent hernia surgery in 2011. This included 1,332 patients who were admitted to hospital in the 90 days leading up to their surgeries. Among that group, 7.6 percent were readmitted within 30 days of their surgeries. For patients who were not hospitalized in the 90 days leading up to surgery, only 1.6 percent had a 30-day readmission.

Hospitalization within 90 days leading up to surgery may have a negative impact on readmission outcomes because oftentimes during hospital stays patients are in pain or discomfort. They are generally sleep deprived, sedentary and receiving medications that alter their mental and physical abilities. These factors can impair recovery and make patients more prone to disease following a surgery, according to the authors.

The most common reason for readmission following hernia surgery was gastrointestinal problems, followed by cardiovascular problems, hip fractures and other injuries. The average length of time between prior hospitalization and surgery for the PHS group was 48.7 days.

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