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November 11, 1968

Early Discharge of the Postsurgical Patient

Author Affiliations

Greenvale, NY

JAMA. 1968;206(7):1574. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150070112031

To the Editor:—  With the persistent reiteration by hospital staffs that there is a shortage of hospital beds, it is inevitable that thought must be given to an early discharge of patients following surgery. The Journal (204:647, 1968) carried an excellent report on the "Experience With Shortened Hospital Stay for Postsurgical Patients." This concept of early discharge for surgically treated patients is not new. Recently, however, several articles have appeared which present the specific author's experience in this matter. Each in turn establishes certain criteria in selecting the individual patients for domicilary care. For example in England, a study was made on the early discharge of postherniorrhapy male patients. The study involved men aged 21 to 65 inclusive. Besides the selection on the basis of age and sex, the authors tried not to include patients known to be subject to medical or social factors which might be expected to