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By the year 2050, there will be nearly 90-million adults over the age of 65 living in the United States. As this population continues to live more independent and active lifestyles we can expect an increase in traumatic injuries. It is anticipated that older patients will eventually grow to represent as much as 40% of the trauma injuries treated in emergency rooms and trauma centers across the nation.
The high prevalence of medical complications in the senior population including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, increases the likelihood that these patients will require more specialized care and will be at a higher risk of death and disability than younger trauma patients.
A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that during the 10-year period of 1993-2003, fatality rates for geriatric falls increased 45.3% and 59.5% for men and women respectively.
Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center's Level 1 Regional Resource Trauma Center is among the top 10 centers nationwide for the number of geriatric trauma patients treated annually.
An increasing number of geriatric trauma patients will continue to drive the need for better protocols for triage, treatment and prevention.