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Special Article
October 1, 2003

Trauma in the Elderly Patient

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco[[ndash]]East Bay, Oakland.

Arch Surg. 2003;138(10):1093-1098. doi:10.1001/archsurg.138.10.1093

Advanced age is a well-known risk factor for poor outcomes in trauma patients. Older patients can benefit from the intensive monitoring and aggressive management associated with trauma team involvement. Several common topics were chosen for discussion in which the treatment options may differ slightly because of the advanced age of the patient. We discuss the following selected topics: resuscitation of the elderly trauma patient, solid organ injuries, hip fractures, rib fractures, and head injuries.

The United States is witnessing a rapid growth of its elderly population. During the last century, the number of persons younger than 65 years tripled while the number of persons older than 65 years increased by a factor of 11. Because the elderly population in this country continues to grow and because elderly persons maintain independent and active lifestyles, there will be an increasing number of elderly patients requiring treatment for trauma-related injuries.