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Infections in the elderly 

Infections in the elderly
Infections in the elderly

Diane Monkhouse

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date: 26 October 2020

This chapter describes the importance of infections in the elderly, including the factors that predispose them to infections, their altered immunity, anatomical and physiological changes, chronic diseases, malnutrition, and environmental influences. Their altered clinical presentations are then explored. Pneumonia is covered in detail, including community acquired, nursing home acquired, and nosocomial forms. Atypical presentation, investigations, risk prediction, and treatment are described. Urinary tract infections, as the most common infection, are reviewed, emphasizing the asymptomatic nature of many bacteriurias that do not require treatment. Surgical site infections and the risks of acquiring them are discussed before a discussion on prophylaxis and treatment. Clostridium difficile infection is the cause of the most common form of hospital and long-term care diarrhoea and its diagnosis and treatment are reviewed as well as methicillin-resistant Sstaphylococcus aureus colonization and measures to limit its transmission. Finally, the risk associated with antibiotic therapy in the elderly patient is discussed.

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