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21 Cards in this Set

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  • Back
Is pain a more or less reliable indicator of disease in the elderly?
Less; in the elderly, pain may be absent or atypical even in the presence of signficant disease.
True or False:
In the confused elderly, restlessness and agitation may be the only sign of discomfort.
True
What signs/symptoms might an elderly person who experiences an MI encounter?
Syncope, new onset arrhythmia, or confusion.
How might a bowel obstruction present in an elderly patient?
Little or no pain, constipation, and/or fecal impactment.
Can cystitis present with sepsis in an elderly patient?
Yes.
An elderly patient comes to you with left arm weakness. History is significant for a fall a few days ago. What might you expect?
Fracture.
Can shortness of breath at rest be normal and benign?
No. Shortness of breath at rest is pathologic.
If an elderly patient has an increase of respiratory rate and just "doesn't feel well," what is important to look for?
Pneumonia, MI, CHF, COPD exacerbation, PE, impending septic shock, and anemia.
Before giving a patient diuretics for edema, what should you rule out first?
Cardiac, renal, and respiratory disease.
What should you watch for when treating a patient with diuretics?
Hypotension and falls.
If the normal pattern of elimination with an elderly patient changes, with constipation, diarrhea, or alternating, what conditions should be considered?
Cancer, fecal impaction with overflow incontinence, thyroid disease, pernicious anemia, depression, and medications.
What are some common medications might that cause a change in bowel movements?
Laxatives, iron, antibiotics, narcotics, and antacids.
What is the most common problem in the elderly?
Dizziness.
What ALWAYS needs to be ruled out when a patient presents with dizziness?
Bleeding.
Can an elderly patient be septic but have no fever?
Yes.
True or False:
Little or no temperature response to significant infection in an elderly patient means a good prognosis.
False: no temperature response usually holds a very bad prognosis for the patient.
Because of an inappropriate WBC response in the elderly, you should always keep a high index of suspicion for what?
Sepsis
With age, does hemoglobin increase or decrease? Can physiology alone cause this change?
Decrease; no, always look for a pathology.
What might cause low hemoglobin in an elderly patient?
BOB, chronic disease, chronic renal failure, alcoholism, and medications (ASA, NSAIDS).
True or False:
For an elderly patient, most of his/her symptoms can be unified under one diagnosis.
False: this adage cannot be applied to the elderly.
Due to diminished physiological reserve and weakened compensatory mechanisms, do diseases typically present at an earlier or later stage of disease in elders?
Earlier.