What is Medical Care?

Patient receiving medical care

Medical care is given in the general part of the hospital, often known as a hospital ward. People who are receiving it usually have conditions such as:

  • Infections, like pneumonia, that is not bad enough to require ICU care 
  • problems due to an ongoing disease, such as diabetes 
  • mild heart attacks or strokes
  • the need to recover after a surgery

Along with medications, some of the machines used to treat you in a general ward are:

  • intravenous tubes (IV) to deliver medications and nutrition 
  • tubing to deliver oxygen but not ventilators or breathing machines 
  • blood pressure monitors 
  • specific machines for a disease, such as a dialysis machine

Outcomes of Medical Care

When admitted to hospital for medical care, most patients who recover have little or no change in their quality of life. Approximately 70% will survive and leave the hospital alive. However, the survival might be higher or lower depending on the age and prior health condition of the patient.

If you are over 80 your chances of survival are different than if you are younger:

Overall Risks and Benefits

Benefits

  • Medical treatment can treat or cure many illnesses, which increases your chance of survival.
  • Conservative medical treatments generally do not negatively impact on quality of life or comfort.
  • If you die, it will likely be a more natural and peaceful death than in the ICU. Thus is because there will be fewer machines and treatments administered to you.

Risks

  • If you get worse and some of your organs are failing, you will likely die without ICU treatments.

Is Medical Care right for you?

Most people who pick this option have:

  1. fixable medical problems
  2. a declining or low level of function or quality of life
  3. the desire to avoid the more burdensome ICU treatments

The following video shows a conversation between a doctor and a patient about Medical Care:

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