Nursing homes residents have three-fold risk of infection after E.R. visit, study finds

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Emergency room visits by elderly nursing home residents was linked to a three-fold risk of acute respiratory or gastrointestinal infection, a new study finds.

Canadian researchers studied the records of 1,269 nursing home residents from 22 different facilities. In the study, which looked at ER visits during non-summer months, 424 residents visited the ER for a number of ailments, excluding acute respiratory and gastrointestinal symptoms. The other 845 participants did not visit the ER.

Researchers said they focused on ER visits during non-summer months because of a seasonal increase in respiratory and gastrointestinal infections during these months.

"Considerations should be given to the implementation of additional precautions for residents for five to seven days after their return from the emergency department,” the authors wrote.

The study was published this week in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Click here to read the full study.