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Just regarding abstract 16 - the Irish study about falls. Having worked in Ireland I can shed some light on the question of why people with falls/syncope spend 20 days in hospital. The majority of hospitals in Ireland are all publicly funded and as such are understaffed and over worked. A major limiting factor is getting imaging done, as even the tertiary hospitals have limited CT access. You could be waiting for 2 to 3 days just to get a head CT if not urgently required, even longer for something like an echo/doppler neck which would all be part of certain syncope work ups. But even if all the tests are done in a timely manner, there is pretty much no access to step down units/rehab units so patients with falls/syncope take up an acute hospital bed for weeks on end, especially if they are elderly and need things like rehab/physio. So yes the paper was not wrong 20 days for a fall/syncope is a realistic time frame for a patient to stay in hospital. We had a patient stay on an acute medical ward for 8 months waiting for a placement into a nursing/care home.
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