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Geriatric Trauma

A Clinical and Ethical Review

Stevens, Casie L. MSN, RN, CCRN; Torke, Alexia M. MD

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000179
ETHICS
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Because of advances in medicine and other sciences, the average human life span is longer now than any other time in history. The physiologic effects of aging as well as multimorbidity, polypharmacy, and other geriatric-specific syndromes create additional challenges when elderly patients experience a traumatic injury. However, there is a growing evidence base that can inform the clinical decision-making process. This narrative review of the literature addresses the state of the science regarding geriatric syndromes, guidelines and protocols, indices and models for prognostication, outcomes and ethical concerns in the treatment of geriatric trauma.

Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics (Ms Stevens and Dr Torke), Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, Indiana; Department of Nursing (Ms Stevens), Indiana University Health, Indianapolis, Indiana; Indiana University Center for Aging Research (Dr Torke), Regenstrief Institute, Incorporated, Indianapolis, Indiana; and Department of Medicine (Dr Torke), Indiana University, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Correspondence: Casie L. Stevens, MSN, RN, CCRN, 16350 Trace Blvd N, Westfield, IN 46074 (cstevens1@iuhealth.org).

Supported by the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics, Indianapolis, Indiana. The authors acknowledge funding assistance from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation, Indianapolis, Indiana; and the Methodist Health Foundation, Indianapolis. Endowment funds from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation and the Methodist Health Foundation support the work of the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics, but played no direct role in the preparation of this article.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2016 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.