Hearing – A formal proceeding (generally less formal than a trial) with definite issues of law or of fact to be heard. Hearings are used extensively by legislative and administrative agencies.
Hearsay – Statements by a witness who did not see or hear the incident in question but heard about it from someone else. Hearsay is usually not admissible as evidence in court.
Hemodialysis – This treatment is usually done in a dialysis facility but can be done at home with the proper training and supplies. HD uses a special filter (called a dialyzer or artifical kidney) to clean your blood. The filter connects to a machine. During treatment, your blood flows through tubes into the filter to clean out wastes and extra fluids. Then the newly cleaned blood flows through another set of tubes and back into your body.
Hemorrhage – Bleeding or the abnormal flow of blood.
Hepatitis – Liver inflammation.
Hip fracture – Break in the bones of the hip. For material related to hip fractures in nursing home patients, look here.
Home health care – Limited part-time or intermittent skilled nursing care and home health aide services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology services, medical social services, durable medical equipment (such as wheelchairs, hospital beds, oxygen, and walkers), medical supplies, and other services.
Homemaker services – Common household chores performed by a hired employee or by a volunteer because you may be unable to perform the task yourself. Common examples of homemaker services include: shopping, laundry, cleaning, cooking and transportation.
Hospice care – Hospice care involves a team-oriented approach that addresses the medical, physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of the terminally-ill patient. Hospice also provides support to the patient’s family or caregiver as well. Hospice care is covered under Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance).
Hospital – An institution that provides medical, surgical, or psychiatric care and treatment for the sick or the injured.
Hospital error – Any error occurring during an admission to a hospital including errors made by physicians, nurses, and other hospital staff. See entry here for material related to hospital errors.
Hoyer lift – Name brand for a patient transfer system which allows patients in hospital, nursing homes, residential facilities and people who receive home health care to transfer from bed to chair or another place when their mobility is limited or the patient is too heavy for a standard lift; the lift uses hydraulic power. Hoyer lifts are frequently the source of patient injury, see material here for more information.
Hung jury – A jury whose members cannot agree upon a verdict.
Hyperglycemia – High blood sugar.
Hyperreflexia – Overactive responses at reflex sites.
Hypertension – High blood pressure.
Hypoglycemia – Low blood sugar.
Hyponatremia – Low sodium level in the blood.
Hypotension – Low blood pressure.
Hypothermia – Low body temperature. Here’s some discussion of hyperthermia resulting in a patient death.