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Challenges in the Management of Geriatric Trauma: A Case Report

Gaebel, Ashley DNP, BSN, RN; Keiser, Megan DNP, RN, CNRN, ACNS-BC, NP-C

doi: 10.1097/JTN.0000000000000299

This article describes geriatric trauma and commonly associated difficulties emphasizing both the epidemiology and assessment of geriatric trauma. There is little data guiding decisions for trauma patients 65 years or older, as there are many unique characteristics to the geriatric population, including comorbidities, medications, and the aging physiology. The geriatric population in the United States has been steadily climbing for the last 20 years and is projected to continue on this trend. Although each patient presents differently, there remains a need for the consistent utilization of standard guidelines to help dictate care for geriatric patients, particularly for patients not receiving care at a trauma center. This review uses a case study about an elderly woman with many comorbidities, followed by a comprehensive discussion of geriatric trauma and the challenges that result from a lack of guideline utilization to direct management.

School of Nursing, University of Michigan–Flint.

Correspondence: Ashley Gaebel, DNP, BSN, RN, School of Nursing, University of Michigan–Flint, 303 E. Kearsley St, 2180 William S. White Bldg, Flint, MI 48502 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2017 by the Society of Trauma Nurses.