This was the topic discussed by Helen M. Sorenson in the May 2012 issue of "AARC Times," in her article, "Common Comorbidities, Complications, and Consequences in the Elderly."
Usually a person can make it through an entire life with one ailment. As we know, there are many asthmatics, and many COPD, arthritis, osteoporosis and hypertension patients out there.
Yet when a person develops more than one disease, this is referred to as a comorbidity. In most cases, this occurs as a person ages, or as a disease progresses. The following are common comorbidities listed by Sorenson:
- Past heart attack
- Congested Heart Failure
- Atrial Fibrilation
- Ventricular dysthrymias
- Aortic or Mitral Valve Dysfunction
- Renal Disease
- Urinary Tract Infection
- Gastrointestinal Reflux (GERD)
So the patient, thus, becomes an enigma; a conundrum. Sometimes we refer to these patients as a train wreck.