Descriptive Analysis of Emergency Hospital Admissions of Patients With Alzheimer Disease

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Summary:The aim of this project was to study the underlying reasons for emergency hospital admission of patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT) and their characteristics. This prospective 4-month study identified 118 patients with DAT, most of whom were referred to the two emergency departments of the Toulouse University Hospital. The two main reasons for admission were behavioral problems (26.3%) and falls (18.6%). Patients were generally at an advanced stage of the disease process and had substantial evidence of poor nutritional status and loss of activities of daily living ability. About one third of patients had already been admitted to the hospital for the same reasons in the preceding months. Psychotropic drugs predominated (71%) among the current medications taken by the patients and were mainly anxiolytics and neuroleptics. Finally, the discharge report indicated that medications were a contributing factor in the disorders of 25% of patients. We believe that improved information for caregivers and early management and treatment are essential to respond adequately to the problems raised by this population.

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