Geriatric Emergencies
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More About This Title Geriatric Emergencies


The elderly represent the fastest growing segment of the population in developed countries, reflected in the patient population presenting to EDs and hospitals. These patients more often than not have greater co-morbidities, more complicated workups and utilize more laboratory and radiologic services.

This text is designed to teach emergency physicians how best to care for this specific demographic of patients. It addresses physiologic changes, high-risk conditions, and atypical presentations associated with elderly patients in the ED that result in frequent misdiagnosis or delays in diagnosis. It instructs the readers how best to care for elderly patients in order to minimize morbidity and mortality, addressing some of the difficult psychosocial issues that confront health care providers that care for elderly patients, such as psychiatric disease and end-of-life care. The utility of this text is not limited to emergency physicians, but it should be useful to all health care providers involved in the treatment of elderly patients with acute medical or surgical conditions.


Series Editors:
Shamai Grossman, Assistant Professor of Medicine; Director, Clinical Decision Unit and Cardiac Emergency Center. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA.

Peter Rosen, Senior Lecturer Emergency Medicine Harvard Medical School; Attending Emergency Physician Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Visiting Clinical Professor Emergency Medicine University of Arizona; Professor Emergency Medicine University of California San Diego, MA.

Amal Mattu, MD, Professor of Emergency Medicine and Vice Chair, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Dr. Mattu is one of the leading emergency medicine educators in the US and a strong advocate for geriatric emergency medicine training. He has authored or co-authored 5 books for Wiley, including his extremely successful ECGs for Emergency Physicians titles, which have been perennial bestsellers. Dr. Mattu is Consulting Editor for Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America; he is a popular speaker at conferences around the world and he has won multiple awards for his excellence in teaching, including national awards from the American College of Emergency Physicians, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine, and the Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine.


List of Contributors, vii

1 General assessment of the elderly patient, 1
Alison Southern & Scott Wilber

2 Physiologic changes with aging, 13
Kate D. Zimmerman & Robert S. Anderson, Jr.

3 Functional assessment of the elderly, 28
Kirk A. Stiffler

4 Pharmacological issues in the elderly, 43
Ruben Olmedo & Denise Nassisi

5 Altered mental status in the elderly, 58
Josh Joseph & Maura Kennedy

6 Geriatric psychiatric emergencies, 71
Josh Joseph & Maura Kennedy

7 Acute abdominal pain in the elderly: Surgical causes, 83
Katren Tyler & Maura Kennedy

8 Nonsurgical abdominal pain in the elderly, 99
Katren Tyler & Maura Kennedy

9 Back pain, 110
Nicholas Santavicca & Michael E. Winters

10 Headache, 123
Benjamin W. Friedman & Rebecca Nerenberg

11 Dyspnea in the elderly, 139
Mercedes Torres & Siamak Moayedi

12 Acute chest pain in the geriatric patient, 152
Marianne Haughey

13 Acute cardiac disease in elder patients, 168
Susanne DeMeester

14 Syncope in Geriatrics, 191
Timothy C Peck, Nissa J Ali & Shamai A Grossman

15 Stroke, 203
Julie Watkins-Torrey, Roxanna Sadri & Kama Guluma

16 Infections, 218
Jason Ondrejka & Scott Wilber

17 Dizziness and vertigo in the geriatric population, 234
Jonathan Edlow & Alessandro Cancelliere

18 Weakness and functional decline, 252
Colleen M McQuown

19 Emergency department evaluation of falls in the elderly, 264
Tania D. Strout & Robert S. Anderson

20 Trauma in the geriatric patient, 280
Christopher R. Carpenter & Peter L. Rosen

21 Surgical considerations in the elderly, 304
Charles W. O’Connell, Davut Savaser & Colleen Campbell

22 Oncologic emergencies, 321
Gabriel Wardi, Alexander Bromfield & Leslie C. Oyama

23 Elder abuse and neglect, 351
Michael C. Bond & Kenneth H. Butler

24 Geriatric emergency pain management case, 363
Teresita M Hogan & Alexandra Wong

25 Ethical issues and end-of-life care, 386
Phillip D. Magidson & Jon Mark Hirshon

26 Geriatric dispositions and transitions of care, 394
Barbara Morano, Carmen Morano, Kevin Biese, Eric A. Coleman & Ula Hwang

27 The geriatric ED, 407
Phillip D. Magidson, John G. Schumacher & Elizabeth A. Couser

Index, 417