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Emergency Physician Identification of a Cluster of Elder Abuse in Nursing Home Residents

      Elder abuse is a common, morbid, and underrecognized problem.
      • Acierno R.
      • Hernandez M.A.
      • Amstadter A.B.
      • et al.
      Prevalence and correlates of emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse and potential neglect in the United States: the National Elder Mistreatment Study.
      Victims of elder abuse receive primary medical care less often than other older adults, but seek emergency care more often.
      • Lachs M.S.
      • Williams C.S.
      • O'Brien S.
      • et al.
      ED use by older victims of family violence.
      • Dong X.
      • Simon M.A.
      Association between elder abuse and use of ED: findings from the Chicago Health and Aging Project.
      Thus, emergency departments (EDs) are an important setting in which elder abuse might be identified. Unfortunately, elder abuse is often overlooked by emergency providers.
      • Lachs M.S.
      • Williams C.S.
      • O'Brien S.
      • et al.
      ED use by older victims of family violence.

      Stevens TB, Richmond NL, Pereira GF, et al. Prevalence of non-medical problems among older adults presenting to the emergency department. Acad Emerg Med. In press.

      We describe the identification of a cluster of 7 cases of elder abuse, including 1 death that resulted from intentional opioid administration at a nursing home.
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      References

        • Acierno R.
        • Hernandez M.A.
        • Amstadter A.B.
        • et al.
        Prevalence and correlates of emotional, physical, sexual, and financial abuse and potential neglect in the United States: the National Elder Mistreatment Study.
        Am J Public Health. 2010; 100: 292-297
        • Lachs M.S.
        • Williams C.S.
        • O'Brien S.
        • et al.
        ED use by older victims of family violence.
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        • Dong X.
        • Simon M.A.
        Association between elder abuse and use of ED: findings from the Chicago Health and Aging Project.
        Am J Emerg Med. 2013; 31: 693-698
      1. Stevens TB, Richmond NL, Pereira GF, et al. Prevalence of non-medical problems among older adults presenting to the emergency department. Acad Emerg Med. In press.

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