Turkish Journal of Geriatrics 2006 , Vol 9, Issue 2
Mersin Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Aile Hekimliği Anabilim Dalı MERSİN Introduction: Emergency departments are the front doors of hospitals for elders, as they can get too sick and need intensive care easily. The determination of the geriatric profile admitted to the emergency department can help physicians diagnose accurately and also to perform treatments emergently.

Aim: The aim of the study was to evaluate the demographic and clinic features of elderly patients presenting to the emergency department.

Material and Methods: The data of the patients aged 65 years and over, who were admitted to the Emergency Department of Mersin University during the one year period from January to December 2004, were retrospectively studied.

Results: In the study period, 1854 elderly patients were admitted to our emergency department. The mean age of the subjects was 73.4 (6.1). Cardiac problems (27%) were the most frequent causes of these admissions, following by gastrointestinal problems (18%), pulmonary system problems (12%), musculoskeletal system problems (10%), and neurological problems (9%). Malignancy was detected more commonly among males (7%) than females (1%), and accident/trauma rate was found 2 fold higher in females (6%) than in males (3%). Of patients 71% were treated in the emergency department, 28% were hospitalizated and the remaining 9 patients were died in the emergency department. It was determined that acute coronary syndrome diagnosis caused 3.98 fold increase in the risk of hospitalization/exitus and 17.4 fold increase in the risk of exitus.

Conclusion: Elderly patients presenting to the emergency departments are mostly suffering from cardiac problems. We think that, rapid diagnosis and treatment of cardiac problems in the emergency departments has a life saving role for elderly patients. Keywords : Emergency admission, Geriatrics, Elderly, Cardiac problems