Geriatric trauma patients experience poorer survival and greater complication rates when severely injured compared with younger patients with comparably severe injuries.
In a national dataset of 285,000 hospitalized patients with moderate-to-severe traumatic injury, researchers found nearly all infections in the post-injury hospital course were associated with at least double the risk of death for older (65 and older) versus younger (18 to 64 years old) patients.
These infections ranged from pneumonia, abscess, wound infection, urinary tract infections, and aspiration pneumonia. Certain noninfectious complications also were identified with greater mortality among older patients, including failure of reduction/fixation, pressure ulcer, deep venous thrombosis, pneumothorax, pulmonary embolism, and compartment syndrome.
To learn more, see Min et al. (2013). A simple clinical risk nomogram to predict mortality-associated geriatric complications in severely injured geriatric patients. Journal of Trauma Acute Care Surgery, 74(4), 1125-1132. doi:10.1097/TA.0b013e31828273a0