Little old ladies are crashing the system - The Globe and Mail
Little old ladies are crashing the system
From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010 5:00AM EST
B.C. physician John Sloan has seen it time and time again. An elderly person, usually living on her own, takes a turn for the worse. Maybe she’s suddenly short of breath or gets an infection.
It’s a weekend, so her doctor calls an ambulance or tells her family to take her to the hospital, where she lies around in ER for 12 or 15 hours before being admitted. The hospital does a battery of diagnostic tests, many of which lead to further tests. It turns out that this little old lady has heart failure, vascular dementia, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis. Many of these conditions have been previously diagnosed, and none are curable.