Kate47 Asked May 2012

What is the best way to deal with hospitalists?


My grandmother is back in the hospital with a compression fracture. She is in a great deal of pain and I have been waiting for a neurosurgeon consult to see if she can have a procedure that injects cement into the fracture. Patients have pain aleviated almost immediately. Instead, she's been laying in bed too muchin pain to sit up to eat or drink. She IS NOT receiving IV fluids which I have requested - she is diabetic and prone to UTI. I can see that she's dehydrated - lips sticking to teeth and foul breath. Her urine smelled concentrated to me last night. What is the hold-up? What can I do short of becoming a *****, which I'm sure some already see me as?

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EXPERT Carol Bradley Bursack May 2012
It seems you are being ignored if they don't at least say why they aren't doing what you ask. I'd contact her primary doctor and let him or her know that she is dehydrated and no one is listening to you. Then ask for an appointment with the hospitalist. It's hard to balance the fact that they are stretched too thin with the needs of your loved one, but this sounds neglectful. The hospital should have a complain department if you need to talk with someone. I'd try again to make an appointment with the hospitalist, however, because obviously it's easiest when people get along. Good luck. I don't like the sound of this hospital. They should give you some explanations, at the very least.
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webfoot Jul 2013
2012 and not one answer? Everyone I talk to with aging parents has a story of multiple hospitalists counter diagnosing the primary care physician. What's the deal?
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Kate47 May 2012
Thanks for responding, Carol. The consult was to have taken place Tuesday or Wednesday and didn't. This is day four. I did speak with the hospitalist last night. He says she doesn't need fluids and they are going to manage the fracture with bedrest and pain medication. I asked specifics about the MRI - is this a stable or unstable fracture, wedge or burst fracture. He had no information to share. I asked for a copy of the report and was told they don't give out records until the patient has been discharged. I explained I did not want her lying down for this many days. She refuses to drink because she doesn't want to need the bedpan because it is too painful for her to roll. She won't tolerate her bed being raised enough for her to safely eat or drink. She coughed on her own saliva last night and was in pain. I found out the hospital doesn't even do kyphoplasty. Today, Thursday my family is trying to get her transferred to another hospital and is getting much flak. We've been told by physicians at other hospitals that this hospital doesn't transfer patients even if another facility offered care they are unable to provide.
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