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the placement in a hospital of persons who are ill or wounded and in need of in-patient treatment and care, as well as of patients with mental or infectious diseases (or when there is suspicion of these) who are subject to obligatory isolation.
Hospitalization may be emergency, planned, or preventive. Emergency hospitalization is used in accidents, sudden serious illnesses that threaten the patient’s life, and acute mental or infectious diseases. Planned hospitalization in the USSR is one of the forms of the phased system of treatment of patients; it is ordered by physicians in out-of-hospital treatment and prevention facilities after detailed examination and diagnosis of the patient, with the object of selecting effective means of treatment and dosages of medication and of giving the patient the kind of specialized in-patient care that is impossible at the polyclinic or at home. Preventive hospitalization provides treatment for the prevention of complications and is used to establish the causes and conditions of origin of a disease; it also offers medical examinations and attempts to establish the patient’s ability to work and his need for treatment.
Hospitalization is also classified as centralized or decentralized, according to its system of organization. A centralized system of hospitalization is organized for cities with several hospitals. Patients are referred to in-patient facilities through a single central station, where an account is kept of available beds. A decentralized system is organized by attaching out-of-hospital facilities to certain in-patient facilities or by combining the two and referring patients in need of in-patient care directly.
G. N. SOBOLEVSKII