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Flashcards in Homeostasis and disease presentation Deck (12)
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How does minor illness affect a frail older person's functional abilities in comparison to a fit older person?


What is homeostasis?

Synchronised adjustments in an internal environment within a body to maintain specific physiological parameters eg. BP, pH, temp, glucose


Which system maintains electrolyte and water balance in the body?

Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system


What occurs in the ageing kidney?

  • Decreased renal mass 
  • Renal fibrosis
  • Decreased renal blood flow (narrowed arteries)
  • Lower eGFR
  • Impaired recovery


Why might there be decreased fluid intake in the elderly?

  • Cognition
  • Mobility
  • Swallowing

Problems associated with above


Why might there be excess fluid loss in elderly patients?

  • Diarrhoea
  • Infection
  • Meds / diuretics
  • Diabetes


What is an Osborn wave?

  • J waves
  • Positive deflection (wave) at J point
  • Junction between QRS and ST segment
  • Typical of hypothermia 


What other features can be noted on an ECG indicating hypothermia?

  • Bradycardia 
  • QT prolongation 


Is there an increased or decreased risk of hypothermia in the elderly?

Increased risk, due to:

  • reduced body fat
  • sarcopenia 
  • social isolation
  • medications
  • impaired cognition 
  • chronic disease


How do older adults respond to a hot environment?

  • Sweating occurs later
  • Decreased peripheral blood flow response 
  • Reduced autonomic heart response


How do older adults respond to a cold environment?

  • Delay in response to temp + perception
  • Impaired shivering
  • Impaired cutaneous vasoconstriction
  • Decreased metabolic heat production


What are the geriatric giants?

  • Immobility
  • Instability
  • Incontinence
  • Intellectual impairment
  • Iatrogenic*

*adverse effect or complication arising from medical advice or treatment