FAU study raises concerns about geriatric emergency care

There are more than 46,000,000 people over the age of 65 in the United States, a number that’s expected to almost double by 2050.

BOCA RATON, Fla. – There are more than 46,000,000 people over the age of 65 in the United States, a number that’s expected to almost double by 2050.

That’s raising concerns among researchers like Dr. Richard Shih with Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine.

Shih helped author a recent study that found most of the emergency departments in the US and worldwide do not meet guidelines to care for the complex needs of older patients.

“Clearly elderly patients have been seen in the emergency department for years and years however as the emergency departments have become more sophisticated it’s clear that elderly people have additional requirements that most ED’s may not have thought of before,” Shih said.

He said more needs to be done to identify the risk of falls in elderly ER patients, along with a better understanding the multitude of medications these patients may be taking and the potential that many may suffer from delirium and other mood disorders.

And the US Preventive Services Task Force is once again updating guidelines on aspirin use to prevent cardiovascular disease.

The agency announced today that it recommends against low dose aspirin use for primary prevention of CVD in adults age 60 and older.

Even in people under the age of 60 with a ten percent or greater risk of cardiovascular disease, the agency found little net benefit from daily aspirin use.

The USPSTF also concluded that there is no clear evidence that daily aspirin use has any protective benefits against colorectal cancer incidence or death.


About the Authors:

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.