Emergency departments are faced with a high influx of patients presenting for various complaints. The aim of the present study was to assess the basic characteristics of elderly patients presenting to a rural hospital emergency department in inland Croatia in 2017.
Retrospective data collected from the Hospital Information System and by analysis of medical records on patients presenting to emergency department in 2017 were used in the study.
Study results indicated that a lower proportion of elderly individuals aged 65-74 were hospitalized following emergency department workup. A statistically significantly higher proportion of patients older than 74 years was presented to ED due to various discomforts and diseases (ICD-10 group I; χ2 = 324.85; p < 0.01) than due to cardiorespiratory diseases and acute abdomen (χ2 = 285.04; p < 0.01).
Our findings highlight the need for a complex approach in care for elderly people, given that they are a fragile population with multiple comorbidities, chronic diseases, atypical symptoms, and often with cognitive and functional impairments.

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