CHICAGO, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- With relatives often living far apart, holiday reunions sometimes include a trip to the Emergency Department for an ailing senior, a U.S. doctor says.
Dr. Mark DeSilva, medical director, Gottlieb Emergency Department, part of Loyola University Health System near Chicago, had five tips on how to tell if a senior relative needs immediate medical attention:
-- The person is unkempt with poor personal hygiene.
-- The home is very messy, dirty and has a foul odor.
-- Minimal movement by the person appears to be painful.
-- Mentally, the person is agitated or confused.
-- The person has not seen a physician in several months and is visibly unwell.
"Try to contact the primary-care physician first and alert them to the situation," DeSilva said in a statement. "But if holiday schedules or lack of information prevent that, bring them to the closest Emergency Department."
DeSilva said in the Emergency Department, you can expect the following:
-- Patients will be asked their name, the date, where they are and who the president is.
-- Medical staff will listen to lungs while patient takes deep breaths.
-- Patient will be checked for signs of cardiac distress.
-- Patients will be asked to walk so their gait can be observed.
-- Patients' vital signs will be checked, including respiration, blood pressure and temperature.
-- Patients' breathing will be monitored.
-- Patients will be checked for pressure ulcers, bruises and dehydration.
-- Patients' pupils will be checked to see if they react equally on both sides.
-- Patients will take part in a hand-grasp test to determine if grasp is even on both sides.
-- Their height and weight will be recorded.
-- Their urine will be checked for infection.