Pitfalls in the Management of Older Patients in the Emergency Department

  • Fredrik SjöstrandEmail author
  • Christian Nickel


This chapter summarises common pitfalls when evaluating older patients in the emergency department and bullet-point list below gives a glimpse of the chapter:
  • Vital signs in older frail people with several comorbidities can be misleading as reference values differ from younger people. Single-point measurements in the ED should be compared to each individual’s baseline values (when accessible).

  • Atypical presentations of pneumonia, for example, are common in frail older people and may only include altered mental state such as confusion, high respiratory rate and an acute decline in functional status.

  • One third of all the ADE-related ED visits refer to intake of one of these three medications: warfarin, insulin and digoxin. Tools such as STOPP-START can help guide clinical practice.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Emergency Medicine, Department of Clinical Research & EducationKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Emergency DepartmentUniversity Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland

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