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Arch Iran Med. 2016;19(9): 0-0.
PMID: 27631179
Scopus ID: 84987646109
  Abstract View: 807
  PDF Download: 931

Original Article

Caring for Acutely Ill Patients in General Wards: A Qualitative Study

Alireza Jeddian, Antje Lindenmeyer, Tom Marshall, Arash Rashidian, Leila Sayadi * , Nazila Jafari

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: The number of acutely ill patients has risen in general wards due to the aging population, more advanced and complicated therapeutic methods, economic changes in the health system, therapeutic choices and shortage of intensive care unit beds. This may lead to adverse events and outcomes with catastrophic results. The purpose of this study was to describe the conditions of acutely ill patients, from the perspective of caregivers.

METHODS: The study was conducted in Tehran University of Medical Sciences and its two affiliated general teaching hospitals. Ten nurses and physicians participated in interviews, which were analyzed using qualitative content analysis methods. 
RESULTS: Four main categories of difficulties in caring for acutely ill patients in general wards were described: problems in identifying acutely ill patients, problems in clinical management of acutely ill patients, inappropriate use of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, and poor structure for mortality control. The staff do not appropriately diagnose the signs of deterioration. There are problems with the appropriate management of acutely ill patients, even if they are considered to be acutely ill and in need of special attention in general wards.
CONCLUSION: Many shortcomings exist caring for acutely ill patients, ranging from identification to clinical management; there are also structural and contextual problems. An immediate plan is necessary to circumvent the challenges and to improve the care for acutely ill patients. These challenges highlight the need for changes in current levels of care for acutely ill patients, as well as the need for appropriate support systems. 
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ePublished: 01 Sep 2016
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