EMET Pre-learning: Geriatric Emergencies
As the Australian population ages, emergency departments and primary clinicians will be increasingly confronted with assessing elderly patients with acute illness. In this pre-learning for the EMET workshop we consider two clinical challenges:
The elderly patient presenting with acute abdominal pain
Recognising and responding to deterioration in elderly patient
Compared to younger patients, acute abdominal pain in the elderly is associated with a high rate of misdiagnosis. Possibly the most challenging aspect to managing the elderly patient with suspected deterioration is the diagnosis. A structured approach is essential. A careful assessment of the patient's vital signs, history and examination together with selective testing will generally enable the clinician to significantly narrow down the diagnostic possibilities.