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Anaesthesist. 2008 Apr;57(4):391-6. doi: 10.1007/s00101-008-1333-y.

[Emergency medicine--medicine for an ageing society. A contribution to the context of emergency missions for elderly people].

[Article in German]

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Institut für Anaesthesiologie und Notfallmedizin, Westpfalz-Klinikum GmbH, Hellmut-Hartert-Strabe 1, 67655, Kaiserslautern.


Due to fundamental demographic as well as social changes, the emergency medical services (EMS) have to respond to an increasing number of geriatric emergencies. By means of some typical case histories the practical problems arising in preclinical emergency medical intervention and the central role of context factors like social isolation, reduced mental capabilities and the resulting need for help are demonstrated. It is discussed how emergency medical services (EMS) can contribute to the problems of an ageing society beyond the scope of a system which is dedicated only to the individual. One possibility is the epidemiological analysis of geriatric emergencies, the accompanying context factors and the development of an adequate infrastructure which is adapted to the needs of the elderly. The EU project EMERGE is an example of how emergency medical expertise is utilized in an interdisciplinary cooperation. An automatically working system based on ambient sensor technology is developed for early detection and prevention of emergency situations in the home environment. Supportive technology ("assisted living") should enable the elderly to live a safe and self-determined life as long as possible. Integration of this additional information into the processes of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is the logistic prerequisite to establish a social medical assistance tailored to the needs of an ageing society.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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