Frailty in trauma patients: An emerging geriatric syndrome

Muhammad Khan, Bellal Joseph

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review In contrast to their younger counter-parts, geriatric patients have a decreased physiological reserve. This age-related vulnerability poses unique chal-lenges for clinical decision-making. Additionally, as the population of the United States (U.S.) continues to age at a rapid pace, an increasing number of elderly patients need trauma care. Accordingly, this review examines the rele-vance of the concept of frailty in trauma cases, as well as its role in identifying vulnerable trauma patients and improving patient care. Moreover, through a process of simplification, we made the fundamental concepts of frailty and Frailty Index clearer and more useful. Recent Findings Frailty is a state of decline in many physiological systems. It increases vulnerability to a poor resolution after a stressor event. More precisely, this cumulative depletion of the body’s reserves makes it more likely, that a stressor will trigger disproportionate changes in health. This being the case, investigators have developed several validated models of frailty that show the association between frailty and health outcomes in trauma. Summary Frailty can decisively impact a wide spectrum of a trauma patient care, including morbidity, mortality, hospital stay, discharge disposition from the hospital, and informed clinical decision-making. Therefore, especially given the increasing number of aging individuals in the U.S., the frailty of such patients must be considered to improve outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number30
JournalCurrent Surgery Reports
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Frailty
  • Frailty Index
  • Geriatric syndrome
  • Geriatric trauma
  • Trauma outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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