Health Check

BBC World Service

Health, Fitness & Nutrition, Technology

Health Check grapples with health issues on a global scale, investigates discoveries and solutions in healthcare, and looks at how to deliver a healthier world. Presented by Claudia Hammond.


Why a hospital stay can be bad for your health

November 11th, 2015

Episode 60 of 118 episodes

Sometimes we have no choice but to go to hospital when we need serious medical treatment. But not uncommonly a stay in hospital can be significantly detrimental to our health. As well as the risk of catching infections, there is evidence that a stay in hospital can result in an acquired condition of vulnerability and make you more likely to end up in hospital again in the following 30 days; often for something unrelated to the original problem. It is known as post-hospital syndrome and was only recognised a few years ago and it might affect as many as 30% of people. This week, the team working with Dr Paul Kuo, who is Head of Surgery at Loyola University Medical Center in Illinois, United States, presented the results of their new research on post hospital syndrome at the Annual Meeting of the Western Surgical Association. ‘Pre-hab’ before surgery Southampton General Hospital in the South of England has started exercising some of its cancer patients, to help them recover from surgery more quickly. The nine week 'prehabilitation' programme involves safe but hard work-outs, which push the patient to the limit. Many have shown dramatic improvements in their post-treatment fitness. Unfit patients are five times more likely to die after surgery because of complications, so if the trial is successful other high-risk cancer patients could be put on the programme. The BBC’s David Fenton reports. Arsonist psychology Every week in the UK 65 people are killed or injured in arson attacks and worldwide there are hundreds of millions of dollars of damage caused every week. So a psychologist at the University of Kent is trying to understand more about the psychology of arsonists and why some people are drawn to the idea of setting fire to things. Based on interviews with large numbers of convicted arsonists, Theresa Gannon has been developing a treatment that she hopes will stop people offending again, (Picture: Nurse takes pulse. Credit: Three Lions/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)