Administering convalescent plasma obtained from survivors of COVID-19 within 72 hours of onset of mild symptoms in elderly patients with the virus was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of development of severe respiratory disease.
Older adults might present with atypical symptoms, such as “just not feeling right.” Some experience a decreased sensation of dyspnea itself, so they do not even report feeling short of breath. Older patients also may present with various comorbid conditions that are causing shortness of breath, such as congestive heart failure or COPD. This can lead to misdiagnosis.
There is an opportunity for targeted interventions for all older patients, especially frail older adults, undergoing emergency general surgery to establish better prognostic understanding and discuss advance care planning before hospital discharge.
Fall prevention is a constant concern for hospitals and health systems, with great costs involved. It is important not to get stuck in the same old way of thinking when it comes to protecting patients. Take the time to re-evaluate your fall prevention program and look for new opportunities to improve this key aspect of patient safety.
Older adult trauma patients present unique challenges for the emergency care provider. Airway anatomic and physiologic changes associated with age may pose difficulties in the setting of trauma and may affect the overall care of the patient. Understanding the geriatric variations and developing alternative strategies is critical in the acute care setting.
More than 100 U.S. EDs that have achieved some level of credit through the Geriatric Emergency Department Accreditation (GEDA) program. These EDs have taken specific steps to better meet the needs of older patients who present to the ED according to Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines, established in 2013. However, recognizing that smaller, rural hospitals often do not have the training or resources to meet GEDA standards, researchers are determining if telemedicine technology can be leveraged to make this accreditation available to these facilities.
Under a three-year research project, a New Hampshire medical center will be providing geriatric support and expertise to four rural hospitals through a mature telemedicine program already in place. One aim of the program is to enable senior patients in rural areas to receive high-quality geriatric care in their local EDs rather than face transfer to larger hospitals that may be far away.