Violence

The overall increase in violent crimes in the United States has not spared the elderly. Violent assaults account for 4 to 14 percent of trauma admissions in this age group. Elderly persons are seen as ideal targets for robberies because they may possess various age-related physical deficiencies. 1 Just as in the younger population, ethanol consumption by the assailant or victim has been found to be involved in the majority of fatal assaults. While blunt trauma, to date, has been the most frequent injury mechanism, penetrating injuries are on the rise.1 Emergency physicians also should have a heightened suspicion for elder or parental abuse in the geriatric trauma patient (see Chap.,292, "Abuse in the Elderly and Impaired").

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