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J Korean Geriatr Soc 1998; 2(2): 38-45  
Clinical Characteristics of Elderly Patients in Emergency Department
임경수; 이영수; 김원; 최옥경
Published online: December 1, 1998.
© The Korea Geriatrics Society. All rights reserved.

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Abstract

Black Women's Flojos Flop Layne Flip Background : The proportion and absolute number of older patients admitted through the emergency department (ED) are increasing yearly. As people getting older, they are more likely to suffer from emergency situation of disease, disability, and trauma. Combining with the decrease in physiologic reserve, these added burdens make the elderly more vulnerable to any of the additional situations. Understanding the implications of these facts is crucial to one who is providing optimal triage and emergency care to elderly (aged 65 years or older) and adults (between 15year of age and 64 years of age).

Methods : We conducted an observational survey of emergency patients age 15 or older who admitted to emergency department of Asan Medical Center. A convenience sample of 3,481 were divided into 2 groups by 65 years of age, and final results (admission vs. discharge) after emergency care was compared. The admission rate according to between two groups. We calculated odds ratios of important outcomes by pooling data from individual trials using logistic regression analysis.

Results : Admission rate of elderly was higher than adults as 59.2% versus 36.4% (odds ratio=2.32) 95% CI=1.21∼3.24). Although vital signs were within normal ranges, admission rate of elderly was significantly higher than adults as follows; normal range of systolic blood pressure (56.0% vs. 35.5%), normal range of respiration rate per minute (55.4% vs. 36.4%), alert status of mentality (34.2% vs. 54.7%).

Conclusion : We could not define the severity of emergency patients only by using vital signs and/or clinical symptoms, especially to the elderly patients. Even though the vital signs of elderly patients. emergency physician should manage them carefully because of the high severity of clinical condition in elderly then we expected. Emergency Geriatric Assessment tools must be developed differently from general triage tools.

Keywords: Elderly, Triage, Emergency

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