Geriatrics | Specific System Issues

Specific Systems: Ask them “What has Changed?”

Respiratory complaints: watch for Pneumonia, PE, CPOD,
Cardiovascular: watch for CHF, what medications, take orthostatics
Nervous system: watch for Stroke, and determine when the current issue started.

Cincinnati Stroke Scale: Facial droop (smile), Arm Drift, Speech
Thrombolytics must be administered within 3 hours to help

Endocrine: watch for diabetes 20% of the geriatric population has it. Many times geriatric diabetics have COPD too.
GI: these symptoms can be secondary to some other medical problem
Nausea, Hiatal Hernia, GI bleed, Bowel obstruction

Central Nervous System:
Delirium: quick onset, caused by infection, electrolyte imbalance, fever, medications etc. and reversible
Dementia: progressive loss of intellectual function, irreversible
Alzheimer’s: progressive loss of cognitive function
Parkinson’s: degeneration of the basal ganglia causes tremor at rest, sluggish movement and muscle rigidity

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