Fall Prevention Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behaviors: A Survey of Emergency Providers

Davenport, K.

Falls are a frequent reason geriatric patients visit the emergency department (ED). To help providers, the Geriatric Emergency Department Guidelines were created to establish a standard of care for geriatric patients in the ED. We conducted a survey of emergency providers to assess 1) their knowledge of fall epidemiology and the geriatric ED guidelines; 2) their current ED practice for geriatric fall patients; and 3) their willingness to conduct fall-prevention interventions.

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COVID-19 Pandemic and Care of Older Adults at Risk for Delirium and Cognitive Vulnerability

Lee, S.

We are facing a global coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic since the virus emerged in Wuhan, China. Although this virus does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status, it has the highest mortality rate in older adults. Mentation is an important part of the geriatric evaluation, as it is listed as part of the age-friendly healthcare framework that incorporates four key interventions – what matters; medication; mentation; and mobility (4Ms). Geriatric conditions such as delirium, dementia, and depression will confound an emergent evaluation because of an atypical manifestation of COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 related illness. Furthermore, these conditions are exacerbated by the effects of either social distancing or the financial crisis on vulnerable members of society.1 There is a particular concern that delirium will increase amid the COVID-19 pandemic due to the use of infectious disease isolation, and also pose a unique challenge to the evaluation of mentation in older adults, due to both COVID-19 and the common central nervous system (CNS) pathology not related to the COVID-19 such as cerebrovascular accident (CVA).

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Predictors of Mortality in Elderly and Very Elderly Emergency Patients with Sepsis: A Retrospective Study

Boonmee, P.

Elderly patients are at increased risk of developing sepsis and its adverse outcomes. Diagnosing and prognosing sepsis is particularly challenging in older patients, especially early at emergency department (ED) arrival. We aimed to study and compare the characteristics of elderly and very elderly ED patients with sepsis and determine baseline factors associated with in-hospital mortality. We also compared prognostic accuracy of the criteria for systemic inflammatory response syndrome, quick sequential organ failure assessment (qSOFA), and the National Early Warning Score in predicting mortality.

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Reducing Emergency Department Transfers from Skilled Nursing Facilities Through an Emergency Physician Telemedicine Service

Joseph, JW.

Transfers of skilled nursing facility (SNF) residents to emergency departments (ED) are linked to morbidity, mortality and significant cost, especially when transfers result in hospital admissions. This study investigated an alternative approach for emergency care delivery comprised of SNF-based telemedicine services provided by emergency physicians (EP). We compared this on-site emergency care option to traditional ED-based care, evaluating hospital admission rates following care by an EP.

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Prompt Outpatient Care For Older Adults Discharged From The Emergency Department Reduces Recidivism

Magidson, P.

Older adults present unique challenges to both emergency clinicians and health systems. These challenges are especially evident with respect to discharge after an emergency department (ED) visit as older adults are at risk for short-term, negative outcomes including repeat ED visits. The aim of this study was to evaluate characteristics and risk factors associated with repeat ED utilization by older adults.

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Two-Item Fall Screening Tool Identifies Older Adults at Increased Risk of Falling after Emergency Department Visit

Solie, CJ.

Few emergency department (ED)-specific fall-risk screening tools exist. The goals of this study were to externally validate Tiedemann et al’s two-item, ED-specific fall screening tool and test handgrip strength to determine their ability to predict future falls. We hypothesized that both the two-item fall screening and handgrip strength would identify older adults at increased risk of falling.

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Cervical Spine Injuries in Older Patients with Falls Found on Magnetic Resonance Imaging After Computed Tomography

Cushing, CH.

In this study we aimed to determine the rate of traumatic abnormalities on cervical spine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) after a normal cervical spine computed tomography (CT) in older patients with ground-level falls. We hypothesized that MRI is low yield following a normal physical examination and normal CT after a ground-level fall.

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Risk Factors of Fall-Related Emergency Department Visits by Fall Location of Older Adults in the US

Kelekar, U.

Prior evidence indicates that predictors of older adult falls vary by indoor-outdoor location of the falls. While a subset of United States’ studies reports this finding using primary data from a single geographic area, other secondary analyses of falls across the country do not distinguish between the two fall locations. Consequently, evidence at the national level on risk factors specific to indoor vs outdoor falls is lacking.

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Risk Factors Associated with Emergency Department Recidivism in the Older Adult

Sheikh, MD.

Our objective was to review risk factors predictive of older adult recidivism in the emergency department. Certain risk factors and themes commonly occurred in the literature. These recurring factors included increasing age, male gender, certain diagnoses (abdominal pain, traumatic injuries, and respiratory complaints), psychosocial factors (depression, anxiety, poor social support, and limited health literacy), and poor general health (cognitive health and physical functioning).

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Trends and Characteristics of Emergency Department Visits for Fall-Related Injuries in Older Adults, 2003–2010

Shankar, MD, MSc, MSHP, et al.

One third of older adults fall each year, and falls are costly to both the patient in terms of morbidity and mortality and to the health system. Given that falls are a preventable cause of injury, our objective was to understand the characteristics and trends of emergency department (ED) fall-related visits among older adults. We hypothesize that falls among older adults are increasing and examine potential factors associated with this rise, such as race, ethnicity, gender, insurance and geography.

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Emergency Department Management of Delirium in the Elderly

An increasing number of elderly patients are presenting to the emergency department. Numerous studies have observed that emergency physicians often fail to identify and diagnose delirium in the elderly. These studies also suggest that even when emergency physicians recognized delirium, they still may not have fully appreciated the import of the diagnosis. Delirium is not a normal manifestation of aging and, often, is the only sign of a serious underlying medical condition. This article will review the significance, definition, and principal features of delirium so that emergency physicians may better appreciate, recognize, evaluate, and manage delirium in the elderly.

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A Survey of Georgia Adult Protective Service Staff: Implications for Older Adult Injury Prevention and Policy

The aging population is a rapidly growing demographic. Isolation and limited autonomy render many of the elderly vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation. As the population grows, so does the need for Adult Protective Services (APS). This study was conducted to examine current knowledge of older adult protection laws in Georgia among APS staff and to identify training opportunities to better prepare the APS workforce in case detection and intervention.

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Elder Financial Exploitation: Implications for Future Policy and Research in Elder Mistreatment

Recent advances in the understanding of elder mistreatment have demonstrated that financial exploitation tends to be one of the most common forms of mistreatment affecting older populations. Agencies such as the World Bank and World Health Organization show significant concern regarding financial exploitation and its connection to physical and emotional injury to victims. The World Bank uses the term “financial violence” as a means of generally describing the harm caused to an individual as a result of financial exploitation or abuse. The proportion of financial exploitation in relation to other forms of elder mistreatment is defined in our research. We discuss the potential impact of elder financial exploitation on victims as well as explore the implications for future research and policy development focused on financial aspects of elder mistreatment and call for further study in the concept of financial exploitation as a violent act.

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Contact Information

WestJEM/ Department of Emergency Medicine
UC Irvine Health

3800 W Chapman Ave Ste 3200
Orange, CA 92868, USA
Phone: 1-714-456-6389


ISSN: 1936-900X
e-ISSN: 1936-9018

ISSN: 2474-252X

Our Philosophy

Emergency Medicine is a specialty which closely reflects societal challenges and consequences of public policy decisions. The emergency department specifically deals with social injustice, health and economic disparities, violence, substance abuse, and disaster preparedness and response. This journal focuses on how emergency care affects the health of the community and population, and conversely, how these societal challenges affect the composition of the patient population who seek care in the emergency department. The development of better systems to provide emergency care, including technology solutions, is critical to enhancing population health.