UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: Pneumonia in the Elderly (Submitted by Dr. Amal Mattu)

Keywords: pneumonia, infection, delirium, atypical (PubMed Search)

Posted: 5/6/2018 by Danya Khoujah, MBBS
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- Half of elderly patients presenting with pneumonia will manifest signs of delirium

- Tachypnea is the most reliable and earliest vital sign abnormality

- Classic symptoms are not often helpful at predicting severity of illness

- Symptoms are unreliable

- Cough (63-84%)

- Dyspnea (58-74%)

- Fever by history (53-60%)

- Fever at arrival (12-32%)

- Pleuritic chest pain (8-32%)

- Sputum (30-65%)


Caterino JM. Evaluation and management of geriatric infections in the emergency department. Emerg Med Clin N Am 2008;26:319-343.