It is important to keep a close eye on an elderly patient. Because, if you identify medical emergency warning signs, you may be able to help the patient before he or she experiences severe pain or trauma.
5 Medical Emergency Warning Signs to Watch for in Elderly Patients
1. Shortness of Breath
An elderly patient may feel uncomfortable if he or she suddenly experiences shortness of breath. The patient may require several minutes to recover as well. Shortness of breath can be a sign of a lung- or heart-related disease. As such, if this happens, it may be beneficial to bring the patient to a doctor right away.
2. Chest Pain
Chest pain in elderly patients can be life-threatening. It can be a sign of acute coronary syndrome and other serious medical conditions. If left unaddressed, chest pain can worsen over time. Thus, it is beneficial to watch for chest pain in an elderly patient and consult with a doctor, particularly if it becomes a recurring problem.
There can be times when an elderly patient becomes confused. These symptoms can be related to dementia, depression, or other medical disorders. To determine the root cause of an elderly patient’s confusion, it helps to bring this individual to a doctor for a full evaluation.
4. Sudden Weakness
An elderly patient can experience sudden weakness in the arms, legs, or other parts of the body. Regardless, the weakness can be a sign of a stroke and should be addressed accordingly.
5. Bleeding That Won’t Stop
If an elderly patient suffers a nosebleed or experiences other bleeding that lasts 20 minutes or more, bring him or her to urgent care or the emergency room. At this point, the patient may require treatment to get the bleeding to stop.
Be Proactive to Address Medical Emergency Warning Signs in Elderly Patients
There is no telling when an elderly patient will require emergency medical care. Therefore, you must be ready to act quickly if your patient displays any warning signs of a medical emergency.
Generally, it helps to keep the lines of communication open with a patient. You can check in on your patient’s health throughout the day. In addition, you can encourage your patient to come forward with any health concerns and share them with you.
If you are uncertain if an elderly patient requires medical care, err on the side of caution. You can always reach out to urgent care or doctor’s office and describe the patient’s symptoms. This allows you to receive medical guidance on how to alleviate the patient’s health issue.
When in doubt, you can call 911 as well. This allows your elderly patient to receive instant medical care and address an emergency in its early stages.
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