How does the presentation of gastroenteritis differ between elderly patients and younger adults?

Updated: Feb 10, 2017
  • Author: Arthur Diskin, MD; Chief Editor: Steven C Dronen, MD, FAAEM  more...
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Answer

Diagnosing complications, such as dehydration (may have chronic poor skin turgor and dry mucus membranes) is more difficult. Elderly patients may be unable to take needed medications. Electrolyte disorders and hypovolemia may have much more serious implications, and life-threatening abdominal emergencies, such as appendicitis, are easier to overlook. Fever may not be manifested, and pain sensation may be blunted.


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