Cardiopulmonary Emergencies in Older Adults

Emerg Med Clin North Am. 2021 May;39(2):323-338. doi: 10.1016/j.emc.2021.01.010.


Older adults are susceptible to serious illnesses, including atrial fibrillation, congestive heart failure, pneumonia, and pulmonary embolism. Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmia in this age group and can cause complications such as thromboembolic events and stroke. Congestive heart failure is the most common cause of hospital admission and readmission in the older adult population. Older adults are at higher risk for pulmonary embolism because of age-related changes and comorbidities. Pneumonia is also prevalent and is one of the leading causes of death.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; COVID-19; Congestive heart failure; Older adults; Pneumonia; Pulmonary embolism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticoagulants / therapeutic use
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / diagnosis
  • Atrial Fibrillation* / drug therapy
  • COVID-19 / diagnosis*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Heart Failure* / diagnosis
  • Heart Failure* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Lung / diagnostic imaging
  • Pneumonia* / diagnosis
  • Pneumonia* / therapy
  • Pulmonary Embolism* / diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Embolism* / therapy
  • Radiography, Thoracic
  • Thrombotic Stroke / prevention & control
  • Ultrasonography


  • Anticoagulants