Falling Short: Adverse Events Related to Patient Height
Measuring a patient’s height is a routine part of a healthcare encounter. But once completed, how often is this information used? For most of us who fall within 95% of the mean population height, this metric is rarely discussed, but what happens when it is overlooked? And what about those on the outer tails of the bell curve of population distribution?
Almost 1 million (909,222) adults in the United States are at least 6'4", more than the entire population of South Dakota (884,659). Conversely, an estimated 30,000 Americans have a form of dwarfism, typically defined as an adult height no taller than 4'10". However, despite this prevalence, the healthcare system struggles to provide consistent, adequate care for patients with extreme heights.
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