Many sick elderly sent home at night

elderly sick hospital walkerMany sick elderly are sent home from hospital in the dead of the night. Photo:

Many sick elderly Norwegians sent home from the hospital in the still of the night

at least 1,546 trips out of the hospital, involving elderly persons above the age of 74, were made between 10 pm and 7.00 am in 2018. This, according to a survey conducted by VG.

At least 461 of such trips, from hospital to the home of the patient, nursing home or other institution, involved patients 90 years or older. At least 603 of those, left the hospital between midnight and 5 am, the newspaper informs.

VG has come up with the figures through extensive scrutiny and analysis of all “green” (i.e. non-acute) trips by the Acute Medical Communication centres (AMK) of Norway.

A number of the call centres have deficiencies in their registrations. At two of them, hardly any trips are registered at all. This means that the factual number of such night transports is even higher, according to VG.



More than a doubling of night transports

The night transport of elderly persons at the AMK centre for Oslo, Østfold and Akershus were more than twice as high in 2018 as in 2012 (when the cooperation reform came into force). The increase has been even greater at AMK Vestfold, with 2,5 times increase in such transport. The same relative increase is also found at AMK Vestre Viken, the survey reveals.

“An increase in the numbers of the elderly, earlier discharge from hospitals, coupled with a general increase in the number of assignments, may form part of the reason,” Communications Director of Vestfold Hospital, Anja Jasinski Kandal-Wright, writes to VG.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today
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