Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: The number of elderly people ($\ge$65 years old) is increasing both in Turkey and internationally due to improved living conditions and decreased mortality rates. Knowing the characteristics of elderly patients admitted to emergency departments can provide guidance for diagnosis and treatment approaches. In this study, we analyzed the characteristics of very old patients (4$\ge$85 years old) admitted to the emergency department and put together data for use in forward planning in healthcare services.Materials and methods: This retrospective study included all patients aged $\ge$85 years admitted to the Adult Emergency Department of Gazi University Medical Faculty Hospital between 01.01.2014 and 31.12.2014. Data concerning the patients' age, sex, date of admission, weekday or weekend admission, reason for admission, length of stay, number of readmissions, admission from within or outside the province, and whether they were hospitalized or not were evaluated.Results: In this study, 1105 admissions of 780 patients aged $\ge$85 years to the emergency department were analyzed. The median age of the patients was 87 years and 59% were female. The most frequent admissions were in January (11.4%). Most patients (63.1%) were admitted only once to our emergency department within the study period. A total of 40.5% of patients were hospitalized in the clinics or intensive care units. The rate of mortality at first admission was 1.5% (12 patients). The most common complaints at admission were infection (13.3%) and soft tissue traumas (crashes, sprains, fractures, dislocations) related to the musculoskeletal system (11.8%). Readmissions were more frequent in males. It was seen that male patients were more frequently admitted due to deterioration of general health status and genitourinary system symptoms, despite pain being more common among women.Conclusion: Due to the changing population structure, emergency staff in Turkey as well as internationally encounter old and very old patients more frequently. It is now imperative that emergency departments acquire the necessary infrastructure, human resources, knowledge, and equipment needed to meet the needs of these patients.


Aged 85 years or over, geriatric admission, emergency department, Ankara, Turkey

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