Hospital personnel have coined the term "granny dumping" to describe the newly recognized phenomenon of abandoning the elderly in hospital emergency rooms by frustrated families who, for various reasons, can no longer continue to provide care. Having come into common use in late 1991, the term "granny dumping" is currently being tracked by the editors of The American Heritage Dictionary as a word that may eventually make its way into the dictionary. Both the phenomenon and the term seem to be spreading and gaining recognition by the press and the public.

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