Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 221-224

Assessment and management of hypotension in the elderly patient

Emergency Department, Whiston Hospital, St. Helens and Knowsley NHS Teaching Trust, Whiston, Merseyside, UK

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Marc A Jacobson
Emergency Department, Whiston Hospital, Warrington Rd, Prescot, Merseyside
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JETS.JETS_18_17

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Introduction: Elderly patients often present to the emergency department (ED) with nonspecific signs of infection and excessive fluid loss, with limited research into their management. The purpose of this audit was to assess the initial management of hypotensive elderly patients in the ED: observations within 15 min, fluid challenge within 1 h, time to assessment by a physician, and initial management of septic shock. Subjects and Methods: Online patient systems were reviewed to find 40 patients >65 years old who were hypotensive (systolic blood pressure <100 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure <60 mmHg) in the ED between 1st October 2015 and 16th November 2015. This data were used to perform a retrospective audit to assess their management. Results: Forty hypotensive patients were identified with an average age of 79.6, with 55% being male. Eighty-three percent had their observations recorded within 15 min of presentation, 35% had their observations repeated within 1 h, and 35% were fluid challenged within 1 h. Nearly 60% patients were reviewed within 1 h by a physician. About 33% patients were in septic shock with 41% receiving IVF within 1 h, and all 40 patient receiving antibiotics. Discussion: The majority of patients had their observations performed within 15 min; however, a smaller percentage was fluid challenged within 1 h with their observations rechecked. Despite a sepsis pathway, hypotensive patients were still not receiving fluids within the hour. Conclusion: Developing a fast-track protocol for hypotensive elderly patients in the ED could improve initial rehydration management and ensure observations are reported in a timely manner.

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