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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2007 Nov;55(11):1873-6. Epub 2007 Oct 3.

The geriatric emergency department.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, and Brookdale Department of Geriatrics and Adult Development, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York, USA.


With the aging of the population and the demographic shift of older adults in the healthcare system, the emergency department (ED) will be increasingly challenged with complexities of providing care to geriatric patients. The special care needs of older adults unfortunately may not be aligned with the priorities for how ED physical design and care is rendered. Rapid triage and diagnosis may be impossible in the older patient with multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy, and functional and cognitive impairments who often presents with subtle clinical signs and symptoms of acute illness. The use of Geriatric Emergency Department Interventions, structural and process of care modifications addressing the special care needs of older patients, may help to address these challenges.

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