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Trapped in the hospital bed

The New York Times, June 3, 2013

Assume that Cynthia Brown's audience, as she addressed the American Geriatrics Society's annual scientific meeting in Texas this month, already knew that hospitalized older adults spend too much time in bed. Her listeners — geriatricians, nurses, administrators — had probably observed for themselves how quickly elderly patients become deconditioned, how even a few days of "bed rest" causes loss of strength and muscle mass, while the risks of blood clots, bed sores and pneumonia increase. Dr. Brown, the director of geriatric medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been sounding this alarm for a decade.