Research appearing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine implies there is evidence, derived from patients admitted to hospital from care homes, that care home residents are commonly prone to dehydration and hypernatraemia.
Patients admitted from care homes were ten times more likely to display symptoms of hypernatraemia than patients admitted from their own homes. After allowing for confounding variables such as age, gender, mode of admission and dementia, the adjusted results suggest care home residents were five times more likely to be admitted with hypernatraemia than people coming from their own homes.
Full Text Link (Note: This article requires a suitable Athens password, a journal subscription or payment for access).
Wolff, A. Stuckler, D. McKee, M. (2015). Are patients admitted to hospitals from care homes dehydrated? A retrospective analysis of hypernatraemia and in-hospital mortality. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. January 15th 2015. [Epub ahead of print].
The following NHS Choices Behind the Headlines critical appraisal places this research in context:
“The truth is we do not yet know what is behind the higher dehydration levels in patients coming from care homes. Finding an explanation is the crucial next step”.
Study finds care home residents ‘more likely’ to be dehydrated. London: NHS Choices Behind the Headlines, January 16th 2015.