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Clin Geriatr Med 23 (2007) xi–xii

Preface

Amal Mattu, MD Michael Winters, MD Katherine Grundmann, MD


Guest Editors

Anyone who has practiced medicine for more than a few years, regardless
of specialty, has undoubtedly noticed a rapidly changing patient population,
that is, patients are getting older. The elderly represent the fastest growing
segment of the United States population, and it is clearly reflected in the de-
mographics of patients that occupy hospital inpatient and emergency de-
partment beds as well as the demographics of patients that seek care in
the offices of primary care physicians. Advanced age is associated with in-
creased complexity of disease. Elderly patients tend to have more underlying
medical conditions, and when they suffer acute illnesses or injuries they fare
worse than their younger counterparts. Elderly patients truly present a sig-
nificant challenge to their primary care physicians and to inpatient physi-
cians when they have acute illnesses. Physicians must not only take into
account the comorbidities when choosing treatment plans but must also
consider the decreased ability of the elderly patient to recuperate, the signif-
icant potential for drug interactions with the patient’s already large medica-
tion regimens, and the social challenges elderly patients face when caring for
themselves.
In this issue of Clinics in Geriatric Medicine, we have assembled an out-
standing multidisciplinary group of educators to discuss the challenges that
physicians face when caring for elderly patients with acute illnesses and in-
juries. Particular attention has been paid to the common but atypical pre-
sentations of serious illnesses in elderly patients. Readers will be
constantly reminded that relatively benign complaints, vital signs, and phys-
ical findings often mask deadly conditions and are instructed as to when

0749-0690/07/$ - see front matter Ó 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.cger.2007.03.008 geriatric.theclinics.com
xii PREFACE

urgent or emergent consultation should be sought. Topics covered include


medical, psychiatric, neurologic, and toxicologic disorders.
We would like to thank these dedicated authors who contributed their
valuable time and expertise to this issue. We would also like to thank our
families for their patience, encouragement, and support throughout this
process. We hope this issue of the Clinics serves as a valuable source of ed-
ucation to all readers, and that it promotes continued improvement in the
care of our patients.

Amal Mattu, MD
Katherine Grundmann, MD
Emergency Medicine Residency
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine
110 S. Paca Street, 6th Floor, Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
E-mail address: amattu@smail.umaryland.edu; genmutti@yahoo.com

Michael Winters, MD
Internal Medicine
Department of Medicine and Emergency Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine
110 S. Paca Street, 6th Floor, Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21201, USA

Emergency Medicine Combined Residency


Departments of Medicine and Emergency Medicine
University of Maryland School of Medicine
110 S. Paca Street, 6th Floor, Suite 200
Baltimore, MD 21201, USA
E-mail address: mwint001@umaryland.edu