Risk of Death from Surgery Much Higher for Nursing Home Residents
As if nursing home residents and their families didn’t already have enough difficult choices, a recent study raises yet another health care dilemma for them. A study of Medicare patients, who resided in nursing homes, concluded that they had a much higher rate of death and complications following abdominal surgery, compared with Medicare patients who lived outside nursing facilities. The risks were as much as six times as great for certain procedures. The writer who summarized the study in the New York Times Blog, “The New Old Age,”, suggested that when surgery is recommended for a nursing home resident, that the resident and their families make a concerted effort to see whether alternative treatments are available. Although surgery may often be the “gold standard” treatment for many illnesses, the substantial risks of surgery may warrant non-surgical treatments for nursing home patients.