Medical Definition of Bed blocker

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Bed blocker: A patient who uses a hospital bed for a long period of time because they are chronically ill. The patient inadvertently blocks the use of the bed by other patients. The term "bed blocker" appears to date back into the 1980s.

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018

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