Prevent Nursing Home Patients From High Risk Surgeries

Target: Nursing Home Caregivers, nationwide

Goal: Insist that the highest level of care be given to nursing home residents so as not to incur a high risk surgery

Recent studies conducted on ascertaining the risk of mortality among elderly patients undergoing surgery are posing a big concern. The study is comparing elderly people who are living in nursing homes to those who are not. Results show a staggering percentage difference in recovery ability, proving that the majority of nursing home residents who undergo surgery are at an extremely high death risk. Urge nursing home caregivers nationwide to do everything in their power to keep nursing home residents healthy.

Routine operations performed on younger patients, such as appendectomies, can have a much different effect on an elderly person undergoing the same surgery. In a study conducted by Dr. Emily Finlayson, colorectal surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco, comparing major abdominal surgery in adults of roughly the same age, the risk of mortality and post-surgery interventions were assessed. The two groups that were analyzed were those adults who were not living in a nursing home and those who were, though both possessed the same number of chronic illnesses.

Nearly 71,000 nursing home residents were compared with more than a million elders who were subjected to the same procedure but did not reside in a nursing home. After reviewing the results, Dr. Finlayson explained how 12 percent of nursing home patients perished, versus only 2 percent of other elders, who both underwent an appendectomy. In the second abdominal surgery, which requires the removal of the gallbladder, an 11 percent mortality rate existed for nursing home residents compared with a small 3 percent who were not institutionalized.

This sharp disparity among the two groups indicates how elders, who are residing in nursing homes, are exposed to such an extreme mortality risk.  This risk of dying is heightening because nursing home patients simply aren’t physically or mentally strong enough to withstand the after effects of post-op symptoms. In addition, Dr. Finlayson expounded on the fact that many nursing home patients also undergo invasive interventions after surgery, where ventilators or feeding tubes were required to keep the patient alive. All of these factors add to the risk of not being able to recover.

Insist that nursing home caregivers nationwide take all necessary preventative measures to keep residents healthy so as not to subject them to painful surgeries and procedures.


Dear Nursing Home Caregivers,

Recent studies conducted by physicians are arriving at disconcerting conclusions. The studies were based on four different types of abdominal surgeries, performed on two groups within a similar age range, to assess the mortality risk after the surgery was performed. The results show a large disparity between the elders who were not institutionalized and those elders who resided in a nursing home, where the mortality rate poses the largest threat.

Because elders who reside in nursing homes do not possess the vitality to regain their strength after surgery, it is extremely important that caregivers understand this risk and apply a greater level of care to residents. Moreover, nursing home patients, who are subjected to invasive procedures to help sustain their condition, are also very risky and add an additional risk of perishing. Therefore, I implore you to give the best level of service to all residents living under your care to protect them from unnecessary infections that could lead to life-threatening surgeries.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Official U.S. Navy Imagery via Flickr

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One Comment

  1. I think often family members are behind the push for these operations. One person I know talked about how she had to “fight” to get her mother a THIRD hip operation. She kept saying how the doctor’s didn’t want to do it, but she believed they were denying her mother care, instead of understanding they were trying to help her mother. The guilt of having elderly relatives in another person’s care leads people to attempt to use whatever kind of care they can weld for them, even it’s occasionally misguided.

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