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Int Emerg Nurs. 2012 Oct;20(4):251-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ienj.2012.02.002. Epub 2012 Sep 13.

Hyponatremia in older adults presenting to the emergency department.

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University of Colorado College of Nursing at Anshutz Medical Campus, Mail Stop C288-19, 13120 East 19th Ave., Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Hyponatremia is a common disorder seen in the emergency department and is more prevalent in older adults than in other adult populations (Miller, 2009). Though often discovered by accident, through routine bloodwork, even mild hyponatremia has been shown to have potentially dangerous consequences for older adults, increasing their risks for falls, altered mental status, osteoporosis and fractures, and gastrointestinal disturbances (Soiza and Talbot, 2011). Optimal management of older adults with hyponatremia in the ED involves not only treatment of serum sodium levels and the immediate consequence of the disorder, but exploration and reversal of the causes of the hyponatremia to avoid recurrence. This case study illustrates the clinical presentation, complications and management of hyponatremia in the setting of the emergency department.

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