Questions to ask before you leave a hospital

There are many things that you need to know when you leave a hospital after a surgery. I ran into this first hand last week after my dad has a heart attack and then an angioplasty and my mom took him from the hospital with almost no information.

That kind of thing should never happen.

I speak of all this not just a fitness guy, but as someone that has had to eal with a sick daughter with kidnet disease, as well as a very jarring situation with my dad having a heart attack and angioplasty just a few weeks back. Sometimes we get fantastic information from the doctors, nurnses and other health care staff, sometimes not. Most importantly though we need to be very careful with the way that we take in information. sometimes we miss details given to us and sometimes the health care professionals think that we are aware of certain things when in fact we are not.

First of all the hospital staff including nurses, doctors and other health care workers have a head full of knowledge that you just have to ask the right questions to the right people.

Right after leaving the hospital

doctorsRight after you leave the hospital what do you need to know. Are there any special instructions for that first night?
Are there any medications needed? Some medication may need to be taken that first day but some many can wait.

Are there any dietary restrictions? How about water and food intake over the first 24 hours. Often there are water restirctions or a need for water and fasting or not.

How about baths, heat or ice packs? Are these needed, can you pick them up on the way home from the hospital or wait?

The initial day home from a hospital can be difficult so it is important to know what distractions you can get rid of. The last thing you want to do in those first 24 hours is to be running out to the store to buy things, fill prescriptions, get food, or any other things that can just wait a day.

After 24 hours – Through the first week out of the hospital

As any kind of caregiver you need to make sure that you are very clear on the situation above. You need to know things like dietary restrictions going forward, water and liquids, and then all the crazy things that certain surgeries can bring on. You may need to have multiple medications to track and exercise considerations.

As far as medications. How many and how often. It is important to have a schedule of exactly what has to be taken when and any interactions between the medications. You can get this information from a pharmacist or the doctor and in these cases do not trust your memory. Write everything down. Another problem with medications is the side effects.

Make sure that you know what the side effects can be and what to watch out for. Most people do not show side effects but really the fact is that you will be dealing with medications that are not common to you or your patient so you need to be aware if there is an allergy or side effect showing up.

Finally, as far as I am concerned, most medications are for acute symptoms. Right after a trauma or a surgery you need to take a few things like pain killers, blood thinners, anticoagulants, and anti-inflammatories that you should be able to drop once healing has taken place. Please under no circumstances should you make these decisions on your own, but instead consult with the doctors and other staff that you have access to so that the decisions are not going to set you any steps back in the recovery process.

Food, Drink, and Exercise. What you take in an what you do in the days after surgery and recovering from these often has a bigger effect on the outcome and recovery than anyone really suspects. The fact is that your body will heal with what you eat and drink and what you do for exercise is really important.

Critical changes to your diet and exercise are important if you want to heal or support those healing so be sure to be very aware of what is prescribed for in the area of food and restrictions for foods or other things like sodium. Also after a stay in the hospital it can be very difficult to get a lot of exercise but exercise is critical to recovery. In my dads case after his heart attack we of course had no idea how much exercise a moderately physical guy should get afterwards so it is important to talk to the doctor and nurses to see what they have to say.

Permanent changes are often needed after hospital stays. A car accident, heart attack, or other major life event is just that, a major life event and may mean that you have to make permanent changes. You have to look at diet, exercise, ongoing health care, and even lifelong habits may need to change.

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Early Flu Season Already Started




Flu season in the U.S. is off to its earliest start in nearly a decade — and it could be a bad one. Health officials on Monday said suspected flu cases have jumped in five Southern states, and the primary strain circulating tends to make people sicker than other types. It is particularly hard on the elderly.

“It looks like it’s shaping up to be a bad flu season, but only time will tell,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The good news is that the nation seems fairly well prepared, Frieden said. More than a third of Americans have been vaccinated, and the vaccine formulated for this year is well-matched to the strains of the virus seen so far, CDC officials said.

Early Flu Season 2012 Started

Higher-than-normal reports of flu have come in from Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. An uptick like this usually doesn’t happen until after Christmas. Flu-related hospitalizations are also rising earlier than usual, and there have already been two deaths in children.

It’s not clear why the flu is showing up so early.


The last time a conventional flu season started this early was the winter of 2003-04, which proved to be one of the most lethal seasons in the past 35 years, with more than 48,000 deaths. The dominant type of flu back then was the same one seen this year.

One key difference between then and now: In 2003-04, the vaccine was poorly matched to the predominant flu strain. Also, there’s more vaccine now, and vaccination rates have risen for the general public and for key groups such as pregnant women and health care workers.

Many Vaccinated for Flu But Many Die Every Year

An estimated 112 million Americans have been vaccinated so far, the CDC said. Flu vaccinations are recommended for everyone 6 months or older.

On average, about 24,000 Americans die each flu season, according to the CDC.

Flu usually peaks in midwinter. Symptoms can include fever, cough, runny nose, head and body aches and fatigue. Some people also suffer vomiting and diarrhea, and some develop pneumonia or other severe complications.

A strain of swine flu that hit in 2009 caused a wave of cases in the spring and then again in the early fall. But that was considered a unique type of flu, distinct from the conventional strains that circulate every year.



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