Study objectives: To examine and describe the relationship between age and disposition in patients undergoing mechanical ventilation.
Design: Retrospective analysis of a statewide database.
Setting: All acute-care hospitals in New York State.
Patients: All patients (n=10,473) aged ≥18 years discharged from hospital during 1993 with a final diagnosis related group (DRG) coding of 475.
Measurements and results: The final disposition, according to six codes (other acute-care facility, residential health-care facility, other health-care facility, home, home health-care services, and death) were examined for the whole population. Cost per case was assumed to equal the average statewide Medicaid rate. An inverse relationship between survival rate and age was observed and this resulted in an age-related increased cost per survivor. Also, survivors in older age groups have an increasing rate of hospital discharge to residential health-care facilities.
Conclusion: Patients who undergo mechanical ventilation are expensive to care for. The older they are, the less satisfactory is the outcome both from clinical and economic perspectives.