Waning immunity and declining anatomic and physiologic defenses render the elder vulnerable to a wide range of infectious diseases. Clinical presentations are often atypical and muted, favoring global changes in mental status and function over febrile responses or localizing symptoms. This review encompasses early recognition, evaluation, and appropriate management of these common infections specifically in the context of elders presenting to the emergency department. With enhanced understanding and appreciation of the unique aspects of infections in the elderly, emergency physicians can play an integral part in reducing the morbidity and mortality associated with these often debilitating and life-threatening diseases.
- Skin and soft tissue infection
- Urinary tract infection