Geriatric Emergencies (EMET) 2016

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.