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

  1. The elderly patient presenting with acute abdominal pain

  2. 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.