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Is a geriatric emergency room coming near you?

If you have ever been in an emergency room in a big city, you know how hectic it can be. There are paramedics bringing accident, overdose or gunshot victims, doctors and nurses are rushing quickly up and down the hallways and machines seem to always be making some sort of noise. When the emergency room is packed, it can seem like a war zone, according to one physician assistant at Mount Sinai Hospital emergency room.

However, there is another emergency room at this hospital and it's just for elderly patients. It's much safer for them, because they aren't as exposed to chronic diseases as they may be in the other emergency room.

When elderly people come to the emergency room, they are often given too many procedures and tests, according to research. In addition, they are often admitted to the hospital more often than other patients.

Geriatric emergency rooms are showing up across the country, with 100 already in place. Others are in the planning stages in North Carolina, Texas, Connecticut and California. The actual emergency room departments can vary significantly, some with dedicated staff and others with extra hearing aid and other senior aids. Other emergency rooms for seniors may just be a separated part of the emergency room.

Geriatric emergency rooms seem like a terrific idea for those who cannot stand the stress, exposure to germs and other negative issues that might arise in a regular emergency room. However, there can still be issues with care. If you have received medical care or treatment at a geriatric emergency room that has left you in a worse condition, you have a right to seek compensation for injuries in North Carolina.

Source: Kaiser Health News, "Geriatric ERs Reduce Stress, Medical Risks For Elderly Patients," Anna Gorman, Aug. 23, 2016

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