Patients with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) often have a bittersweet experience when hospitalized. The bitter part is that they are often cared for by staff lacking in knowledge and information about PD, while the sweet part comes when they are discharged, sent home and start to feel better.
Many of the problems that PD patients encounter in the hospital relate to medications, such as wrong medications being dispensed or correct medications not being dispensed on a timely basis or not at all.
Some PD patients find their PD symptoms worsen while in the hospital. One possible cause is the introduction of new medications in the hospital and how they interact with PD medications.
Some PD patients who have had deep brain stimulation (DBS) experience problems because their hospital and surgical staff are not familiar with this surgery.
Also, it is often difficult for the PD patient to act as his/her own advocate while hospitalized.
I was delighted to find a comprehensive document that addresses all of these issues. Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon and the Parkinson Center of Oregon at the Oregon Health and Sciences University developed a document called the Critical Information for Caring for the Parkinson’s Patient. The PD patient should complete this document before being hospitalized and copies should be taken to the hospital when being admitted.
This document allows the patient to have some control over his hospital care. It also acts as a wonderful educational tool about PD for the hospital staff.
It just might change your hospital experience from a bitter to a sweet one.
Helping Parkinson’s Patients with Hospitalizations at http://katekelsall.typepad.com/my_weblog/2007/07/helping-parkins.html