Old-age specialists may boost recovery among injured seniors

December 19, 2013
Old-age specialists may boost recovery among injured seniors
Consultation with geriatrician in hospital linked with greater return to independence in study.

(HealthDay)—Seniors who suffer an injury are more likely to regain their independence if they consult a geriatric specialist during their hospital stay, researchers report.

The study included people 65 and older with injuries ranging from a minor rib fracture from a fall to multiple fractures or suffered as a driver, passenger or pedestrian in a traffic accident.

A year after discharge from the hospital, the patients were asked how well they were able to perform daily activities such as walking, bathing, managing finances, light housework and shopping.

Those who had a consultation with a geriatrician during their were able to return to about two-thirds more than those who did not, according to the study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Surgery.

"Trauma surgeons have long struggled with the fragility of their older who have much greater health risks for the same injuries experienced by younger patients," senior study author Dr. Lillian Min, an assistant professor in the division of geriatric medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School, said in a university news release.

"We've come a long way in improving our survival rates of these patients, but what we didn't know was whether we were returning them to their homes and communities sicker than they were before," she said. "What we found was that geriatric interventions helped take better care of themselves and be more independent."

Geriatricians specialize in the care of . It's estimated that people aged 65 and older will account for 40 percent of all U.S. trauma patients in over the next four decades.

"This information compels us to do more to help our older patients get back to normal life," Min said. "Our findings suggest that even small changes in care can lead to decreased complications and improve health outcomes for a vulnerable group. We have a responsibility to do what we can to strengthen collaborations between surgery and geriatric medicine doctors."

Explore further: Geriatric care may help older patients become independent again after car accident or other trauma

More information: The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about older adults and falls.

Related Stories

Older patients need special care in emergency departments

July 22, 2013

A large international study led by the Centre for Research in Geriatric Medicine at The University of Queensland suggests that emergency departments should focus their attention on the needs of frail older people.

Recommended for you

Scientists 3-D print human of the future

December 29, 2016

Interactive 3-D models of human joints, showing how common medical complaints have arisen and how we are likely to evolve in the future, have been created at Oxford University.

An eye on young specialists' success

December 5, 2016

Graduates from several medical and surgical specialties are having difficulty securing practice opportunities, especially in specialties dependent upon limited resources, according to new research from Queen's ophthalmologist ...

'Halo' effect common after lasik eye surgery

December 3, 2016

(HealthDay)—Nine out of 10 Lasik laser eye surgery patients report satisfaction afterwards. But a sizable percentage experience new visual disturbances—like seeing halos around lights—up to six months after the procedure, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.