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JEMS. 2013 Aug;38(8):36-41.

Respect your elders. Special considerations for EMS response to geriatric patients.

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Wayne County (Ky.) EMS, USA.


A variety of chronic pathologies often come along with the aging process and are experienced by many patients in late adulthood. EMS providers must be aware of the various challenges of transporting the geriatric population. And although an emphasis is often placed on the physical and medical issues associated with this population, it's also imperative to look at the whole picture to help prevent issues before they become an emegent problem. This includes being vigilant for elder abuse and neglect, as well as potential home hazards-including fall potentials and maintaining colder home temperatures-and dangerous cost-cutting measures, such as sharing medications. Prevention is key to helping older patients avoid potentially devastating situations, such as falls, medication errors and urban hyperthermia. But when those situations happen and providers are called to care for an older patient, compassion and demeanor are necessary to make this more vulnerable patient population comfortable and safe.

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