Older people have lived a long time and may have had a lot of previous health problems. They may arrive in ED, convinced that they have a specific problem, “just like the last time”.
Because older patients present atypically, we must consider their condition carefully. Keep an open mind:
- the nausea associated with the current MI may feel like nausea of the previous ulcer;
- the flank pain of the current leaking AAA may feel the same as the previous ureteral stone;
- The unilateral headache of the current spontaneous subdural hematoma may feel similar to the hemicranial pain of the previous migraines!;
- The mild confusion of the current pneumonia may look to the family the same as the last time Mom had a UTI