Improved healthcare resources and healthier diets have contributed to longer life spans. However, emergency room visits among seniors remain high. In fact, people over 65 account for 20 million trips to the ER annually, and almost 15% of these patients will develop a lasting disability within six months of their visit. In this article, we examine the top 8 reasons for senior emergency room visits in Staten Island.
Senior Emergency Room Visits In Staten Island: Why Seniors Go To The ER
Food poisoning, kidney stones, digestive disorders, and infections generally cause severe distress. Consequently, seniors may attempt to self-medicate with over-the-counter medications, which can worsen the symptoms.
Here’s a particularly troubling statistic: only 69% of those over age 65 have received a pneumonia shot. That leaves a large part of the older population vulnerable to the painful coughs, headaches, nausea, and fatigue associated with the illness. Seniors who suffer unusually high fevers and severe chills and sweats often end up in the ER.
Complications From Surgeries And Adverse Reactions To Medication
Mislabeled or incorrectly stored medications often lead to health complications when ingested. Additionally, infections from surgical procedures often require a trip to the hospital.
This symptom results from a wide range of reasons, from a heart attack to gastrointestinal issues. Chest pain may be cardiac or non-cardiac in nature. In non-cardiac chest pain, physical suffering may result from gastrointestinal maladies such as acid reflux, pancreatitis, or esophagitis. Non-cardiac chest pain could also be caused by musculoskeletal and pulmonary issues. Seniors may need to visit the ER to determine the nature of their pain.
Accidents and Injuries
Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries in those 65 and older. Undoubtedly, they account for most senior ER visits. According to the CDC, 3 million seniors are treated for falls in emergency rooms each year. These falls often cause ankle, hip, or wrist fractures.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Over 600,000 people die from it annually. While seniors may recognize two classic symptoms (chest pain and shortness of breath), they often ignore jaw pain, dizziness, and persistent cold sweats. These seniors attempt to self-medicate but must eventually visit the ER.
Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
Chronic dehydration can lead to UTIs. However, other conditions, such as diabetes, illness-related vomiting, and diarrhea can also lead to fluid loss and UTIs.
The onset of a stroke generally follows a typical pattern: numbness, confusion, blurred vision, and severe headaches. Trained caregivers who understand F.A.S.T. action can prevent new additions to the disease’s grim statistic as the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
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