Evaluation of Older Adults Hospitalized with a Diagnosis of Failure to Thrive
Keywords:failure to thrive, older adults, level of acuity
Older adults are sometimes hospitalized with the admission diagnosis of failure to thrive (FTT), often because they are not felt safe to be discharged back to their current living arrangement. It is unclear if this diagnosis indicates primarily a social admission or suggests an acute medical deterioration. The objective of this study was to explore the level of acuity and medical investigations commonly conducted among older hospitalized adults with a diagnosis of FTT.
We conducted a retrospective cohort study at three hospitalsin Calgary, Alberta. Data were extracted from the electronic medical records of the 603 admissions of patients 65 years or older with a diagnosis of FTT between January 2010 and January 2011. Markers of medical acuity were evaluated.
The vast majority of patients had short hospital stays. Specialist physicians were consulted for 323 cases (54%). Allied health-care professionals were consulted in 151 cases (25%). While in hospital, patients underwent extensive investigations, including CT scans, ultrasounds, and echocardiograms. Many patients received IV fluids (71%) and IV antibiotics (35%).
The data suggest that acute illnesses, and not social factors, were the primary reason for admission among those given a diagnosis of FTT.
How to Cite
Authors contributing to the Candian Geriatrics Journal retain copyright of their work, with exclusive publication rights granted to the Canadian Geriatrics Society upon article acceptance. Read the journal's full copyright and open access policy.