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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 227-230

Profile of geriatric patients presenting to the emergency department

Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Kundavaram Paul Prabhakar Abhilash
Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cmi.cmi_22_17

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Background: In both developed and developing countries, the proportion of people over60years of age is growing faster than any other age group as a result of longer life expectancy due to improved health care. As a result, emergency department(ED) visits are on the rise. Materials and Methods: This retrospective observational study was conducted in the ED of a large tertiary level hospital between September 2014 and December 2014. All patients>65years presenting to the ED were included in the analysis. Results: During the study period, 1090 geriatric patients comprised 13.9% of the ED admissions. The mean age of the patients was 74.2±20.32years. There was a male predominance(65.4%). The most common presenting complaints were breathing difficulty(28%), fever(21.6%), vomiting(14%), chest pain(11.5%), abdominal pain(11.5%), trauma(11%), giddiness(10.4%), and altered sensorium(10%). The distribution of the most common organ systems involved are as follows: Cardiovascular system(18.7%), respiratory system(15.8%), trauma(13.9%), genitourinary system(13.8%), neurological system(12.3%), skin and soft tissue infections(6%), and others(25.1%). Among the respiratory conditions, acute exacerbation of asthma/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was the most common(61.2%), followed by pneumonia(28.9). More than half(51.5%) were discharged from ED, 47.5%(518patients) were admitted to the hospital, and 0.91%(10patients) expired in the ED. Afurther 64patients expired during the hospital stay. The overall inhospital mortality among the geriatric emergencies was 6.8%(79/1090). The mean length of hospital stay was 8.06days. Conclusion: The admission profile among this geriatric population showed that cardiorespiratory conditions are the most common emergencies, followed by trauma. ED of India should be aware of this demographic profile and be prepared to handle these emergencies efficiently.

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