Posts Tagged emergency room

Suicide in Caucasian Men over 85 years old

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Here is a statistic you may not be aware of- according to the CDC, white men over the age of 85 are more likely to commit suicide as compared to Americans in any other age group.  Here is excerpt from the CDC:
In 2013, there were over 41,000 suicides in the United States –an average of 113 each day. Each suicide takes a substantial toll on individuals, families and communities. The medical costs and lost wages associated with suicide are estimated to be $44.6 billion per year. These numbers underestimate the severity of the problem. In the United States, for every one suicide there are 25 attempted suicides. In 2013, over 494,000 people were treated in US emergency departments for self-inflected injuries. In addition, many more people struggle with thoughts of suicide. During 2008– 2009, over 8 million adults reported having suicidal thoughts in the previous year and 2.2 million adults reported having made suicide plans.
The risk for suicidal behavior is complex. People of all genders, ages, and ethnicities can be at risk for suicide but some groups are at higher risk than others. Men are about four times more likely than women to die from suicide. However, women are more likely to express suicidal thoughts and to make nonfatal attempts than men. In the past, suicide was addressed by providing mental health services to people who were already experiencing or showing signs of suicidal thoughts or behavior. While such services are critical, preventing suicide at a national level will require approaches that go beyond mental health issues to address broader family, community, and societal issues.
For more information related to seniors in particular, please see the article below from the Washington Post.
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A Rush to the ER

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At the End, a Rush to the E.R. – NYTimes.com.

When we consider what we would like our last weeks of life to be like, many envision a time as pain free and peaceful as possible.  Time spent at home, a hospice facility or maybe even a nursing home.  We don’t like to consider our last weeks or days spent at a hospital.

A national study put on by Harvard and U.C.S.F., showed that half of older adults (in the study) visited the ER in the last month of life and most of them died in the hospital.  Emergency room staff are trained to do everything to save a life and are not particularly equipped to deal with “palliative care or end-of-life care”.  ER visits can be impersonal, stressful, and even scary for elderly patients.  ER visits are also very expensive as a  multitude of tests are run (many of which are unnecessary for someone in the last weeks of life).  In the study, the patients who were least likely to visit the ER were those in a Hospice program. Read the rest of this entry »

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