Being Hospitalized With Parkinson's
- Request an Aware in Care Kit (see below) It is free.
- Before hospitalization, make sure your hospital information profile contains the name and phone number of your Movement Disorder Neurologist so your surgeon and anesthesiologist can consult regarding appropriate treatment and medications.
- Inform your gp and Movement Disorder Neurologist that you are being admitted.
- Take your Parkinson’s meds in the bottles they were dispensed in to the hospital with you. Not all hospitals have all PD meds available. Taking your meds in a timely manner may be dependent on bringing your own meds and having orders from the doctor to administer them while admitted.
- Bring a list of all your meds and the time you take them.
- Request that your blood pressure be taken sitting as well as standing.
- Consider requesting Physical Therapy assessment upon admission.
- Consider requesting Palliative Care Support to help coordinate services upon admission.
- Post operative mobility is a problem for PwP. Make sure you have assistance.
Aware in Care Kit
This is a free kit available from the Parkinson’s Foundation. It contains helpful information for your care providers in the hospital and information you need to have available for them
Please call 1-800-4PD-INFO (473-4636) for more information or go to
Stanford Medical and APDA
Hospitalization and PD
Most people will need to be hospitalized for one reason or another at some point in their life. This is particularly true of people with long-term illnesses, like Parkinson’s Disease (PD). Common reasons for hospital admissions from the emergency room can include infections of the urinary tract or lung (such as pneumonia), cardiac issues, injury from falls, and cognitive or dementia issues. Common reasons for non-emergency hospitalizations are elective surgeries such as knee and hip replacements.
Hospitalization can be devastating for PD patients and tremendously stressful for their caregivers for a number of reasons:
The neurologist who takes care of you and manages your PD medications may not have privileges at the hospital where you are admitted.
The physicians responsible for your care in the hospital may not know a lot about PD.
The nursing staff may not have much experience with PD patients, and for various reasons including nursing shortages and/or cuts in staffing, they are not likely to have the time to learn best PD practices while you are admitted.
If you need to undergo surgery or other invasive medical procedures, you may not be able to take any medications—including your PD meds—until the surgery or procedure is complete.
It is important for the patient and the caregiver to plan and to anticipate what is likely to happen. The combination of education and planning can alleviate many of the problems encountered in the hospital.
Hospitalization of the Parkinson's Patient-UCSF
Dr. Chad Christine
Medications to Avoid
- Some medications for nausea and other gastrointestinal symptoms block the benefit of PD medications and should be avoided . These include Comoazine, Reglan, and Thorazine.
- Some Medications used for agitation or paranoid behaviors block the benefit of PD medications and should be avoided. These include Haldol, Thorazine, Resperdol and Zypresa.
- Opiate medications may exacerbate disorientation, psychosis, and constipation and should be used sparingly.
- Treatment with Zoltan (ondanzatron), Kytril (granisetron) Or Tigan (trimethobenzamide) may be useful for nausea.
Confusion and Paranoia
- Many factors contribute to the development of confusion, hallucinations, and paranoia in PD including : being in an unfamiliar setting, exposure to new medications, disruption of sleep cycle, and/or the presence of an infection.
- May occur in those who have never had these problems and is likely secondary to the reason for admission, especially when infection is present, or in a combination of new medications and sleep deprivation.
- Medications to limit opiate pain medications, sleeping pills, sedating or anxiety relieving medications (Valium and Ativan), anticholinergics (Artane) , amantadine and dopamine agonists.