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Curriculum Update: Culturally Diverse Patients Geriatric Population Medications for Home Use


Curriculum Update: Culturally Diverse Patients Geriatric Population Medications for Home Use Condell Medical Center EMS System March 2006 Site Code #10-7200-E-1206 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Curriculum Update: Culturally Diverse Patients Geriatric Population Medications for Home Use

Curriculum UpdateCulturally Diverse
PatientsGeriatric PopulationMedications for
Home Use
  • Condell Medical Center EMS System
  • March 2006
  • Site Code 10-7200-E-1206
  • Revised by Sharon Hopkins, RN, BSN
  • EMS Educator

  • Upon successful completion of this module, the
    EMS provider should be able to
  • understand the sensitivity required when caring
    for a culturally diverse patient population.
  • discuss the unique assessment and care necessary
    for the geriatric population
  • discuss common medications taken by the
    population and potential impacts with clinical

Culturally Diverse Patients
  • Differences of any kind race, class, religion,
    gender, sexual preference, personal habitat,
    physical ability
  • Good healthcare depends on sensitivity toward
    these differences
  • Every patient is unique
  • Westernized medicine is not
    accepted by all

Culturally Diverse Patients
  • Key points
  • Individual is the foreground, culture is the
  • All people share common problems/situations
  • Not all people identify with their ethnic
    cultural background
  • Every patient needs to be treated equally
  • Do not force someone
    to have an intervention
    that is against their
    personal beliefs

Culturally Diverse Patients
  • Patients have the right to self-determination
  • If the patient is of legal age (18 or older, not
    emancipated), the patient has the right to refuse
    any care or treatment offered
  • Document what has been refused and why
  • The patient, or person authorized to consent,
    must sign for themselves
  • spouses, grandparents, older siblings, police
    officers cannot sign a refusal
  • if telephone permission is taken, witness by 2
    persons, and EMS signs and adds the name of the
    person supplying permission

Culturally Diverse Patients
  • Respect the integrity of cultural beliefs
  • Patients may not share your explanation of causes
    of ill health and not accept conventional
  • Recognize your personal cultural assumptions,
    prejudices and belief systems.
  • Avoid letting your prejudices
    interfere with patient

Culturally Diverse Patients
  • Language barriers
  • your assessment and accuracy of interpretation
    will be hindered when a language barrier is
  • if an interpreter is used, document their name
    and relationship
  • in some cultures, use of children is insulting to
    adults and seen as too much responsibility placed
    on the child
  • language lines are available - know your own
    departments resources

Culturally Diverse Patients
  • Locale of practice
  • get to know the predominate cultures of your area
  • the more you understand the culture, the more
    effective a practitioner you can be
  • know resources available in your community

Culturally Diverse Patients And Body Language
  • Very important especially when a language barrier
  • Usually at a subconscious level
  • Components of body language
  • eye contact
  • facial expressions
  • proximity
  • posture
  • gestures

Body Language - Eye Contact
  • Can play a key role in establishing rapport
  • Failure to make eye contact can be a sign of
  • Making eye contact can be a sign of disrespect in
    some cultures (Chinese)
  • Asians may be reluctant to make eye contact with
    a figure of authority

Body Language - Facial Expressions
  • One of the most obvious forms of body language
  • Can convey mood, attitude, understanding,
    confusion, other emotions
  • Smiles are usually universally understood
  • Smiling and winking can have different

Smiling and Winking
  • Japanese - may smile when confused or angry
  • Others Asians - smile in friendly greeting
  • Latin Americans - winking is romantic, sexual
  • Nigerians - parents wink at children to have them
    leave the room
  • Chinese - winking is rude
  • Hong Kong - blinking is sign of disrespect and
  • Filipinos - point to objects with eyes, not
  • Venezuelans - finger pointing is impolite

Body Language - Proximity
  • Acceptability varies widely culture to culture
  • In the United States, twice the arm length is a
    comfortable social distance - 4-12 feet
  • Personal space is 1.5 - 4 feet
  • Different messages are interpreted when standing
    above, at, or below eye level
  • above eye level shows authority, can be
  • at eye level indicates equality
  • below eye level shows willingness to let patient
    have some control over the situation

Body Language - Posture
  • Range of attitudes conveyed from interest,
    respect, subordination, disrespect
  • Argentina - standing hands on hips suggests anger
    or a challenge
  • Taiwan - good posture extremely important
  • Some cultures impolite to show the bottom of the
    shoe because it is dirty will not sit with a
    foot resting on opposite knee

Body Language - Gestures
  • Can replace or accompany verbal communication
  • Japan - rude to pass an item with one hand
  • Middle Far Eastern cultures - left hand
    considered unclean - rude to pass items with left
  • In Europe, waving goodbye is raising the hand
    palm facing out, wiggling fingers back and forth
  • In Nigeria, this is an insult if the hand is too
    close to anothers face

  • In Bulgaria Greece, head nodding means no
  • In the USA, beckoning with 1 finger means come
    here. In some cultures it is insulting or
  • Indonesia - pointing is done with a thumb
  • Middle East - pointing with 1 finger is impolite
  • OK sign
  • obscene in Germany and Bulgaria
  • in Japan means zero or worthless

Cultural Diversity - Physical Contact
  • Eastern Europeans are comfortable with touching
  • Asians prefer less physical contact
  • Chinese are uncomfortable with physical contact
    but will use a handshake for greeting
  • Latin Americans show affection easily and
    handshakes are strong warm
  • Egypt - tend to be touch oriented

Cultural Diversity - Gestures
  • Middle East - left hand reserved for hygiene.
    Dont shake hands left-handed or accept a gift
    with left hand
  • Native Americans - offensive to step on a foot -
    apologize immediately

Culturally Diverse Patients - African Americans
  • Handshaking is appropriate
  • Eye contact is appropriate
  • Culture vocally expressive
  • Close friends tend to be viewed as family
  • Tends to be matriarchal society
  • Skeptical of westernized medicine

Culturally Diverse Patients - Arab Americans
  • Prefer handshaking
  • Direct eye contact acceptable
  • Verbally expressive
  • Family shares in decision making process
  • Folk remedies are common
  • soup, prayer
  • Fond of westernized medicine

Culturally Diverse Patients - Chinese Americans
  • Direct eye contact and speaking out may be viewed
    as being disrespectful
  • Nodding is a sign of respect and not
  • Oldest males in the group make decisions
  • Folk remedies are common
  • May interact with westernized medicine

Culturally Diverse Patients - Mexican Americans
  • Handshaking is appropriate
  • May avoid eye contact out of respect
  • Tends to not complain of pain
  • Silence is maintained out of respect or due to
    not understanding
  • Males usually head of the household
  • Folk remedies are common

Culturally Diverse Patients - Financially
  • May refuse health care due to its costs
  • We need to be an advocate for these people and
    make sure they are offered initial medical
  • Know your community and county resources to offer
    to this group of people
  • As a reminder, use your own resources wisely

Culturally Diverse Patients - Financially
  • Signs of impairment
  • homelessness
  • chronic illness with frequent hospitalizations
  • poor personal hygiene
  • self-employment

Resources for Referral
  • PADS - public access to provide shelter
  • provide meals and shelter October 1 - April 30
  • open 7 pm - 7 am
  • goals -
  • connect person with resources to be able to leave
    the street
  • commit to own effort for health and recovery
  • to gain personal and economic self-sufficiency
    with safe, affordable permanent housing
  • HealthReach Clinic - medical screening
  • 847-360-8800 (Waukegan)

Resources for Referral
  • Catholic Charities
  • to help families individuals overcome tragedy,
    poverty, other life challenges
  • Lake County
  • adult agency 847-377-4504
  • juvenile agency 847-377-7800
  • Salvation Army 847-336-1800
  • Connection Crisis Referral Hotline 847-689-1080
  • Department Chaplain
  • Hospital Social Worker

Culturally Diverse Patients
  • During Assessment and Management
  • Recognize need for assistive devices
  • Respect the patients beliefs
  • Ask permission to initiate procedures
  • Obtain interpreter if unable to communicate
    because of language barrier
  • Allow ample time and area of
  • Notify receiving hospital of
    special needs

Groups By Region
  • Asian
  • Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain,
    Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Burma, Cambodia,
    China, Georgia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia,
    Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazaksta,
    North Korea, South Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan,
    Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia,
    Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Phillipines,
    Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri
    Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajkistan, Thailand,
    Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Eminates,
    Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen

Groups By Region
  • Far East - the orient - East Asia and Southeast
  • Brunei, Cambodia, Peoples Republic of China,
    Republic of China, East Timor, Hong Kong,
    Indonesia, Japan, Korea Laos, Macau, Malaysia,
    Myanman, Phillipines, Thailand Vietnam
  • Asian American -
  • term used to describe East Asian peoples older
    term was oriental
  • term refers to person of that ethnic decent
    born in or immigrated to the United States

Groups By Region
  • Eastern European
  • Albania, Belarus, Bosnia Herzegovina, Bulgaria,
    Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
    Lataiva, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland,
    Romanis, Russia, Serbia Montenegro, Slovakia,
    Slovenia, Ukraine

Groups By Region
  • Middle East - South Central Asia, Southwest
    Asia, Egypt
  • Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel,
    Jordan, Kurdistan Region, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman,
    Palestinian Territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,
    Syria, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Yemen
  • Native American
  • a person having origin in any of the original
    peoples of North American and who maintain
    cultural identity through tribal affiliation or
    community recognition

Groups By Region
  • Many groups overlap regions
  • Older population usually refer to themselves by
    their ethnic region (ie Chinese, Mexican)
  • Younger population usually refer to themselves by
    racial terms (ie Asian, Latino)
  • Cannot always judge the ethnicity based on
    appearances - ask the patient if you need

Challenges in the Geriatric Population
  • Fear of losing autonomy/independence
  • mobility - walking and by car
  • want to continue to live on own
  • Patient fears financial burden of hospitalization
  • Patient is embarrassed by burden they become to
    family and friends
  • Multiple disease processes affecting health
  • Difficulty in communicating pain and fears

Challenges in Dealing With the Geriatric
  • Patient fatigues easily
  • Many layers of clothing hamper detailed
  • Need for modesty and privacy
  • May minimize their symptoms
  • fear that they may be hospitalized, illness will
    cost money they dont have, illness may cause
    nursing home or alternate living arrangements
    with lose of independence

Challenges in the Geriatric Population
  • Often suffer from concurrent illnesses
  • Chronic problems make assessment of acute
    problems difficult
  • Aging affects response to illness/injury
  • Social/emotional factors have great impact on
  • Depression isolation - highest suicide rates in
    people over 65

Sensory Related Changes
  • Vision
  • cataracts cause blurring of vision unable to
    distinguish between blue purple
  • if cataracts opaque (cloudy), may not see
    pupillary response with a penlight
  • be in front of person make touch contact with
    the patient before beginning to speak
  • Hearing
  • decreased hearing
  • diminished sense of balance
  • speak slowly and distinctly check for hearing
    aids write notes if necessary

  • Taste smell
  • altered (decreased sensitivity)
  • creates decreased appetite which causes poor
    nutritional condition
  • Touch
  • neuropathies cause decrease sensitivity to
    tactile senses
  • increased risk of injury without patients
    awareness (ieburns from heating pads sores on
    feet becoming infected)
  • Pain
  • lowered sensitivity - smaller amounts of
    pain medication are necessary

Communicating with the Geriatric Population
  • Make eye contact before speaking
  • Always identify yourself
  • Position yourself at the patients eye level
  • Locate hearing aid, eyeglasses, dentures
  • Turn on lights, turn off TV to minimize
  • Use surname (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) until permission
    given to address patient otherwise
  • Be patient and gentle - give time for the patient
    to respond to your questions

Evaluating the Environment
  • Condition, cleanliness safety of
    housing arrangement
  • Nutritional status evidence of food quality
    quantity in the home
  • Personal hygiene evidence of ability to
    maintain self independently
  • Multiple prescription bottles with multiple
    prescribers noted
  • drugs may be negatively interacting if
    the patient has not informed all physicians of
    all medications they are taking

Obtaining A History in the Geriatric Population
  • Resources for medical information
  • Vial of life - form of vital medical personal
    information placed in a container that is kept in
  • red heart-shaped magnet placed on outside of
  • medic alert tags
  • custom engraved bracelet or necklace with
    important information on medical conditions, drug
    food allergies, prescribed medications,
    emergency contacts

Physiological Changes Affecting Mobility
  • Diminished vision
  • Loss of exercise tolerance
  • Diminished breathing capacity - become short of
    breath quicker and lose energy to complete tasks
  • Slowed psychomotor skills - losing independence
  • Decreased reflex time to prevent falls - more
    prone to injury

Mobility in Geriatrics
  • Bone loss affects mobility
  • Osteopenia - less than the normal amount of bone
  • Osteoporosis - bone mass so reduced that the
    skeleton loses its integrity and becomes unable
    to perform its supportive function
  • Loss of bone strength and size
  • Loss of flexibility
  • Vulnerable areas in women
  • spine, wrist, hip, collarbone, upper arm, leg,
  • Treatment - meds, weight bearing exercises like
    walking and lifting weights

Cardiovascular Changes in Geriatrics
  • Left ventricle thickens and enlarges
    (hypertrophy) decreasing compliance
  • Decreased responsiveness to catecholamine
  • Diminished ability to raise the heart rate in
    response to stress
  • Decreased function of SA AV
    nodal cells increasing risk of
  • Cardiac output decreased by 30

  • Arteries become increasingly rigid
  • Increased blood pressure to pump through rigid
    blood vessels
  • Reduced blood flow to all organs
  • Decreased peripheral resistance
  • Widened pulse pressure - increasing systolic
    blood pressure
  • Heart muscle stiffens
  • Postural hypotension - vessels less reflexive and
    blood pressure drops when patient stands up too
  • Atherosclerosis - progressive, degenerative
    disease of medium and large sized arteries

Cardiovascular Disease
  • Risk factors for developing cardiovascular
  • Previous MI
  • Angina
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • High cholesterol level
  • Smoking
  • Sedentary lifestyle

Geriatrics and Acute Myocardial Infarctions
  • Elderly do not present with typical signs or
    symptoms of acute myocardial infarctions
  • Silent MIs are marked by atypical complaints
    such as fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain and
  • High index of suspicion for MI with unusual or
    absent warning signs/symptoms
  • Mortality doubles after age 70

Heart Failure
  • A clinical syndrome where the hearts mechanical
    performance (pumping) is compromised and cardiac
    output cannot meet the bodys needs
  • Caused by ischemia, valvular disease,
    dysrhythmias, hyperthryoidism, anemia,
  • In elderly, large incidence of non-cardiac causes
  • Generally divided into right and left heart
  • Ventricular output insufficient to meet the
    metabolic demands of the body

Heart Failure
  • Left ventricular failure
  • left ventricle fails as a forward pump
  • back pressure of blood in the pulmonary system
    leads to pulmonary edema
  • Right ventricular failure
  • right ventricle fails as a forward pump
  • back pressure of blood into the systemic venous
    circulation leads to venous congestion
  • Congestive heart failure
  • reduced stroke volume causes an overload of fluid
    in body tissues

Signs and Symptoms of Heart Failure
  • Dyspnea
  • Fatigue
  • Orthopnea - often sleeping on extra pillows to be
    more upright
  • Dry, hacking cough progressing to frothy sputum
  • Dependent edema due to right heart failure (check
    most dependent part of body depending on mobility
    - feet or sacral area)
  • Nocturia - urinating at nighttime
  • Anorexia, ascites (fluid in abdomen)

Protocol Treatment Pulmonary Edema
  • Routine medical care
  • Oxygen via nonrebreather initially
  • BVM and intubation if needed
  • Stable patient with B/P gt100 systolic
  • Nitroglycerin 0.4 mg sl (can repeat every 5
    minutes to a maximum of 3 doses)
  • venodilator - reduces return of blood to heart to
    reduce workload of heart
  • Lasix 40 mg IVP (80 mg if on lasix)
  • diuretic and venodilator - reduces fluid return
    workload on the heart

Pulmonary Edema contd
  • Stable patient contd
  • If B/P gt100 systolic, morphine 2 mg slow IVP
  • repeat 2mg every 3 mins as needed max 10 mg
  • reduce anxiety venodilator
  • Consider CPAP if B/P gt 90
  • Unstable patient B/P lt100 systolic
  • contact medical control
  • consider cardiogenic shock protocol
  • dopamine drip to raise blood pressure
  • fluid challenge would not be appropriate in
    patient with crackles/rales (wet lungs)
  • treat dysrhythmias as they present

Dysrhythmias and Geriatrics
  • Common dysrhythmias
  • PVCs when over 80 year old
  • atrial fibrillation - increased risk for stroke
  • Morbidity/mortality
  • Serious due to decreased tolerance due to
    decreased cardiac output
  • The cerebral hypoperfusion leads to an increase
    in falls
  • Can lead to TIAs and CHF
    (ineffective pumping)

  • A bulge in a blood vessel if large enough can
    put pressure on surrounding structures
  • May be aortic or cerebral
  • Associated risk factors
  • Smoking
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Polycythemia
  • Heart disease

  • Blood pressure ranges
  • optimal lt120/lt80
  • normal range lt135/lt85
  • hypertensive range gt140/gt90
  • Risk factors for developing hypertension
  • African Americans
  • elderly
  • geographics (Southeastern United States)
  • males (after menopause, women equally vulnerable)
  • socioeconomic status - lower the status the
    greater the risk

  • Morbidity/mortality
  • B/P greater than 160/95 doubles mortality in men
  • If blood pressure remains uncontrolled, damage
    seen to circulation (vascular system) and organs
  • cardiovascular disease (CVD) - stroke, MI, heart
  • end-stage renal disease

  • Awareness of the disease, its treatment, and
    control have improved but are still suboptimal
  • Prevention and control
  • Regular physical check ups
  • Follow medication routine if prescribed
  • Weight control
  • Exercise
  • Decreasing salt intake
  • Socially/emotionally active
  • Smoking cessation
  • Decreasing alcohol consumption

Hypertensive Emergencies
  • Definition
  • acute elevation of systolic blood pressure
  • Signs symptoms
  • epistaxis (nosebleed)
  • headache
  • visual disturbances
  • neurological changes - altered mental status and
  • nausea vomiting

SOP Treatment Hypertensive Emergencies
  • Routine medical care IV-O2-monitor
  • Blood pressure in both arms and record
  • keep arm level with the heart
  • Vital signs and neuro status every 5 minutes
  • P-R-B/P-AVPU status-pupillary response-GCS
  • Lasix 40 mg IVP (80mg if on Lasix at home) -
    diuretic vasodilator
  • If Medical Control orders, give NTG sl-

Stroke - Cerebrovascular Accident
  • 3rd leading cause of death in the USA
  • Occlusive stroke - 80 incidence
  • causes brain ischemia
  • time to hospital treatment (fibrinolytic clot
    bluster) must be lt3 hours from time of onset
  • most important question - what time did the
    symptoms start?
  • Hemorrhagic stroke - 20 incidence
  • higher percentage of death

Risk Factors For Stroke
  • Elderly
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Hypertension
  • Immobility
  • Limb paralysis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
  • Elevated blood pressure
  • Altered mental status or mood
  • Coma
  • Paralysis or extremity weakness
  • Slurred speech
  • Seizures
  • Note Suspect stroke in any elderly person with a
    sudden change in mental status. Always check
    blood sugar level in setting of altered mental

Cincinnati Stroke Scale Assessment
  • Facial droop - have patient smile big enough to
    show their teeth
  • Arm drift - patient closes their eyes and extends
    arms out straight for 10 seconds
  • Abnormal speech - have the patient repeat back a
    response given (speech may have already been
    detected during normal conversation)

Documentation of Cincinnati Stroke Scale Results
  • Facial droop
  • right, left, or no droop present
  • Arm drift
  • right, left, or no arm drift
  • Abnormal speech
  • slurred speech or clear speech
  • Even normal responses with no deficits must be
    documented to show the assessment was performed

Endrocrine Emergencies in Geriatrics
  • Diabetes and Thyroid Disease
  • Due to the aging process and multiple disease
    processes the signs and symptoms may not appear
    to be classic
  • Suspect thyroid disease in an elderly patient who
    has vague symptoms of illness
  • 20 of the elderly have diabetes
  • 40 have impaired glucose tolerance
  • Type II (non-insulin dependent) is the most
    common form of diabetes and related to obesity

Endocrine Disorders
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Low metabolic state
  • ? appetite with weight gain
  • Vague musculoskeletal complaints
  • Lethargy, fatigue, sluggishness
  • Cold intolerance
  • Constipation
  • Anemia
  • Depression, forgetfulness
  • Hyponatremia (? Na)
  • Moon face
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Weight loss
  • Mentation changes - nervousness, irritability
  • Tachydysrhythmias, palpitations
  • Hyperactivity, nervousness, irritability
  • Heat intolerance
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Weak leg muscles
  • ?perspirations

Endocrine Complications Prevention
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • impaired glucose tolerance - problems with sugar
    processing (pre-diabetic condition)
  • type II diabetes
  • tachycardia
  • atrial fibrillation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • bradycardia
  • Prevention
  • maintain healthy weight
  • remain compliant with medication regime
  • maintain healthy lifestyle
  • excercise

Integumentary (skin) Emergencies
  • Risk factors
  • Epidermal cellular turnover decreases
  • Slower wound healing
  • Increased risk for secondary infection
  • Increased risk of skin tumors, fungal or viral
  • Hair becomes finer and thinner

Pressure Ulcers
  • Results from hypoxia to tissue cells
  • Usually over bony areas
  • Common in immobile patients
  • those confined to bed or wheelchairs
  • Increased incidence in patients with
  • altered sensory perception
  • skin exposure to moisture, especially prolonged
  • decreased activity inability to shift
  • poor nutrition
  • friction or shear (ie being pulled and dragged
    across a surface instead of being lifted)

Prevention of Pressure Ulcers
  • Immobile patients turned every 2-4 hours
  • Adequate hydration and nutrition provided
  • Personal hygiene maintained
  • Environment kept clean
  • Insure immobile patients do not have wrinkled
    bedsheets or clothes
  • Prescribed antibiotics or medications provided as

Traumatic Deaths in Geriatrics
  • Trauma is the fifth leading cause of death
  • Mortality rates markedly increased in the elderly
  • One-third of traumatic deaths are in 65 - 74 year
    olds secondary to vehicular trauma
  • 25 result from falls
  • 50 of persons gt80 years old
    die from falls
  • Post-injury disability more
    common in the elderly

Risk Factors Related to Trauma
  • Osteoporosis and muscle weakness increases the
    risk of fractures
  • women more vulnerable after menopause
  • men are also at risk for this disease
  • Reduced cardiac reserve decreases ability to
    compensate for blood loss
  • Decreased respiratory function increases risk for
    adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)
  • Impaired renal function decreases ability to
    adapt to fluid shifts
  • Unsteady gait increases risks of falls

Traumatic Emergencies
  • Orthopedic Injuries
  • Pelvic fractures are highly lethal due to severe
    hemorrhage and associated soft tissue injury
  • Decreased pain perception may mask major fracture
  • A large percentage of elderly will die within one
    year of a hip fracture

Orthopedic Injuries
  • Hip fractures most common acute injury
  • Elderly are susceptible to stress fractures of
    femur, pelvis, tibia
  • Packaging should include adding bulk and padding
    between the patient and the back board
  • Kyphosis (rounding of the back) may require extra
    padding under shoulders to maintain alignment
  • often caused by osteoporosis, arthritis,
    vertebral slippage

External Rotation
Fracture site
Fracture repaired with plate screws
Orthopedic Injuries From Falls
  • Major cause of morbidity/mortality
  • 10,000 deaths each year
  • One third of elderly fall at home each year
  • 1 in 40 are hospitalized
  • Cause significant mobility problems
    and functional dependence
  • Evaluate home for safe conditions
  • use of non-skid rugs
  • adequate lighting - hallways and at night
  • sturdy hand rails on stairs and in bathrooms
  • items within reach (ie kitchen)
  • environment clear of clutter

Traumatic Head Injuries
  • Poorer outcome when injury associated
    with loss of consciousness
  • Brain shrinkage as one ages allows more space and
    greater brain movement
  • Increased incidence of subdural hematoma
  • ? frequency of falls lead to more head injuries
  • brain shrinkage allows for more room to bleed
  • bleeding is venous - slow development of symptoms
  • headache
  • mental status changes

Spinal Column Injuries
  • Progressive arthritic and degenerative changes
    and osteoporosis associated with the aging
    process lead to higher incidence of bony injuries
  • Injuries have a negative impact on the function
    and quality of life
  • Pain ? ability to perform activities of daily
  • A psychosocial impact and threat to loss of

Compression Fractures of Spine
  • Occurs in 25 of post-menopausal women in the USA
    (up to 40 in women over 80)
  • Applied force may be minimal (lifting an object,
    stepping out of tub, sneezing) or more
    significant (major fall, MVC)
  • Acute onset low back pain, tenderness to
    palpation usually over T 8-12 and L 1-4
  • Rarely neurological symptoms
  • Transport in position of most comfort
  • Treatment symptomatic conservative -
    rest, pain control, physical therapy

Burns in the Elderly
  • 1000 die each year from home fires
  • People over 60 have higher mortality rate from
  • Increased morbidity/mortality due to preexisting
    disease, skin changes (thinning slower healing
    time), altered nutrition, increased risk to
  • infection, decreased reaction time to
  • move away from source

Treatment of Burn Injuries
  • Fluid important to prevent renal tubular damage
    from altered blood flow through the kidneys
  • Normal aging changes cause a decreased response
    in heart rate and stroke volume to hypovolemia
  • Hydration assessed in initial hours after burn
    injury by B/P, pulse, and urine output (1-2
    ml/kg/hour minimally)
  • Rapid IV administration may cause volume overload
    (monitor lung sounds and vital signs frequently)

Burn Injury Prevention
  • Install fire alarms in residence - 1 per floor
  • Practice fire safety with appliances, candles,
    cigarettes, lighters
  • Never leave food unattended on stove
  • Do not cook while wearing baggy sleeves
  • Practice fire evacuation routes
  • Install easy to read phones to dial 911
  • Investigate need for Lifeline assistance
  • way for senior to contact help when needed

Toxicology Geriatrics
  • Alterations in body composition, drug
    distribution, metabolism and excretion increases
    the risk for toxicity in elderly when exposed to
    over-the-counter medications, prescription
    medications, and other substances

Risk Factors Related To Toxicology
  • Decreased kidney function alters elimination
  • Increased likelihood of CNS side effects
  • Altered GI absorption
  • Decreased liver blood flow alters metabolism and
  • History of alcoholism
  • Vision and memory changes
    result in noncompliance
  • Poor dexterity and eyesight decreases
    ability to choose correct medication and/or

  • Label medications clearly and in larger print
  • Provide assistance with nutrition and medication
    administration as needed
  • Consult with physician frequently
  • Make sure all physicians are aware of all
    medications taken
  • over-the-counter prescription
    herbal remedies
  • Limit OTC drug administration
  • Segregate storage in medicine
  • ingested medications on one shelf
  • topical medications on a different shelf

Elder Abuse
  • May occur in home or institutional setting
  • EMS is mandated by State of Illinois to report
    suspicions to hot line
  • Abuse
  • any physical injury, sexual abuse or mental
    injury inflicted on a person, aged 60 or older,
    other than by accidental means
  • Neglect
  • failure to provide adequate medical or personal
    care or maintenance in which failure results in
    physical or mental injury or deterioration of

Elder Abuse Reporting
  • Document objectively and describe injuries using
    measurements and colors and not vague terms
  • Report suspicions to ED staff
  • Abuse Hot Line
  • M-F 0830 - 1700 1-800-252-8966
  • All other times 1-800-279-0400

Medications for Home Use
  • Antidepressants
  • Antianxiety
  • Anticoagulants
  • Lipid management
  • ACE inhibitors
  • Beta blockers
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Diuretics
  • GI system
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders
  • Erectile dysfunction

Medications for Home Use
  • Antidepressants
  • depression is a chronic illness of feeling
    hopeless and of losing interest
  • SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors)
  • improves mood
  • lexapro, prozac, paxil, zoloft
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • amitriptyline, nortriptyline
  • MAO inhibitors
  • could have potentially life-threatening drug
    food interactions
  • nardil, parnate

Medications for Home Use
  • Antianxiety
  • to relieve anxiety
  • benzodiazepines most common category
  • Anticoagulants
  • to inhibit the ability to clot does not dissolve
    an existing clot
  • coumadin, lovenox, heparin, plavix, aspirin

Medications for Home Use
  • Lipid management
  • to reduce cholesterol and LDL levels which when
    elevated increases risks of coronary heart
    disease (CHD)
  • statins lipitor, lescol, zocor, pravachol,
    mevacor, baycol, crestor, pitava
  • non-statin zetia, niacin, velchol, torcetrapib,

Medications for Home Use
  • ACE inhibitors
  • allow blood vessels to enlarge or dilate to
    decrease B/P
  • used to control B/P, treat heart failure, prevent
    kidney damage in hypertensive diabetic patients
  • catopril (capoten), lotensin, vasotec, lisinopril
    (prinivil zestril), monopril, ramipril
    (altace), aceon, accupril, univasc, mavik

Medications for Home Use
  • Beta blockers
  • relieves stress on heart by blocking some
    involuntary nervous system control on the heart
  • slows heart rate, decreases force of
    contractions, reduces blood vessels contractions
  • used to treat cardiac dysrhythmias, atrial
    fibrillation, hypertension, angina, post-MI
    (reduces morbidity), glaucoma, migraines, anxiety
  • most generic names end in olol
  • atenolol (tenormin), metoprolol (lopressor),
    propranolol (inderal), nadolol (corgard),
    carvedilol (coreg)

Medications for Home Use
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • block entry of calcium into muscle cells of heart
    and arteries to decrease the strength and rate of
    heart contractions and dilate arteries
  • used to treat high blood pressure, arrhythmia
    (atrial fibrillation), angina, used post-MI
  • verapamil (calan, isoptin), diltiazem (cardizem),
    nifedipine (procardia), bepridil (vascor),
    amlodipine (norvasc)

Medications for Home Use
  • Diuretics
  • to reduce the vascular fluid volume
  • used to treat heart failure, hypertension, fluid
  • aldactone, aldactazide, bumex, diuril,
    hydrochlorothiazide, HCTZ, hydrodiuril, dyazide,
    dyrenium, lasix (furosemide)
  • Diabetes
  • inadequate insulin activity for glucose
  • actos, amaryl, avandia, diabeta, glucophage,
    glucotrol, prandin, precose, starlix

Medications for Home Use
  • GI system
  • to treat acid reflux, excess acid, GERD,
    irritable bowel
  • aciphex, asacol, mylanta, pepcid, prevacid,
    prilosec, propulsid, reglan, rolaids, tagamet,
    tums, zantac, lomotil, bentyl, imodium

Medications for Home Use
  • Insomnia and sleep disorders
  • sleep deprivation affects the bodys metabolism
  • insomniacs are at increased risk for host of
    diseases decreases motor skill and affects
    memory and mental performance
  • being awake 24 hours is equivalent to a blood
    alcohol level of 0.1
  • ambien, halcion, restoril, lunesta
    benzodiazepines like lorazepam (ativan), diazepam

Medications for Home Use
  • Erectile dysfunction
  • to improve erectile function (impotence) in men
    and sexual arousal in women
  • increases amount of blood flow, does not
    automatically produce an erection but allows one
    after physical and psychological stimulation
  • not to be taken if MI, stroke or life-threatening
    dysrhythmia in last 6 months
  • not to be mixed with nitrate use (NTG) in same 24
    hours period -blood vessel dilation could be too
    much to reverse could cause death
  • viagra (sildenafil), cialis, levitra

Pearls of Medication
  • Benzodiazepines
  • use mixed with alcohol increases depressant
    effects - watch for respiratory depression
  • Anticoagulants
  • increases risk for bleeding complications
  • Beta blockers
  • patient wont respond with tachycardia even in
    shock due to effects of drugs
  • Hypertensive patient
  • a normal reading (ie 110/80) may be shock for
    the patient with a chronically elevated blood

  • Important to remember to bring in all medications
    from the patients home
  • prescription
  • herbal remedies
  • non-prescription over-the-counter
  • Hospitals are working hard on helping patients
    get a handle on their medications and trying to
    avert possible unhealthy interactions

  • Bledsoe, B. E., Porter, R. S., Cherry, R. A.
    Paramedic Care Principles Practices. Brady

Cultural Diversity, Geriatrics, Home Medications
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