Trauma and the Older Person
Trauma involving older individuals presents different challenges in assessment and management when compared to younger patients. This has been recognised across the world with The American Associate for the Surgery of Trauma (AAST) creating the Geriatric Trauma Coalition in 2015 to develop best practice guidelines to aid management in this cohort.
Older patients may experience significant injury despite seemingly trivial mechanisms and pose challenges in assessment due to altered baseline vital signs due to changes in physiological reserve, medications and underlying medical conditions. Shock and major injury may be under recognised due to attribution of symptoms to medications, long standing cognitive decline and under triage of the event mechanism.
In addition to standard inpatient trauma care, attention to frailty scores, early geriatric review or advice and consideration of management of underlying medical illnesses will aid discharge planning and avoid complications. Many studies have demonstrated that the older patient is at higher risk of not returning to their previous functional level after a traumatic injury.
Each kit is a collection of tools and resources to guide the effective delivery of a trauma education event. The kits are designed for use in any Queensland Health facility and can be modified by the facilitator to the needs of the learner, as well as the environment in which the education is being delivered.
Other resources and tools on the topic of trauma and the older person.