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Silver trauma is a term used to define trauma and injuries occurring in older patients who usually have underlying frailty and polymorbidity

It is well recognised that as our population ages there will be an increasing volume of Silver Trauma in our hospitals

Trauma suffered by older people may initially go unrecognised for numerous reasons and significant injuries may present atypically.  The term “stealth trauma” has often been used to describe this effect
































Physiological changes occur as we age. Polypharmacy, frailty and polymorbidity influence “normal“ physiological responses to injury

Serious injuries may only be recognised several days following an admission to hospital which causes morbidity and increases mortality

Unfortunately, this group of patients has historically been neglected compared to younger trauma patients whose injuries are more obvious and present typically

The purpose of developing a Silver Trauma Team call out is to ensure that senior EM staff assess and manage older trauma patients early in conjunction with the Frailty service (Mater FIT – Frailty Intervention Team). The Silver trauma triage criteria have been developed to avoid “under triage” for this group

The aim is that this group gets prioritised in terms of early diagnostics, intervention and disposition including rehabilitation

For further information on best clinical practice for elderly trauma patients see the references below

What is Silver Trauma?

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