In my most recent blog, What Does a Patient Advocate Actually Do?, I discussed examples of what my 94 year old mother-in-law encountered while in the hospital, and how I tried to resolve those issues.
Unfortunately, after several days at home following a long rehab period, she slid off the sofa and ended up in the hospital again. While there, her blood pressure kept fluctuating from her normal 130/75, up to 190/90. They changed her medicine and had her blood pressure stabilized. The case manager then proceeded to tell us she was ready for discharge.
I wasn’t comfortable with her blood pressure situation, so I contacted the cardiologist. I told him I would prefer she not be discharged until we understood why her blood pressure was fluctuating. He postponed the discharge and put her on Lasix, which is a fluid reducing medication. He told the family that several years ago, when she was in the hospital, an echocardiogram was done and she had “some aortic distress”.
This was BRAND NEW information to us. We were never told about her having this issue. I asked for another echocardiogram, which showed a slight difference since her first test, but nothing significant.
Putting her on Lasix stabilized her blood pressure! Had she been discharged, we never would have known about her aortic issue, and she would have never been prescribed Lasix to stabilize this condition.
So, YES! It is okay to say no to the case manager who tells you that your loved one is ready for discharge!