PURPOSE: To examine the outcome of elderly patients (>80 yrs old) treated in a medical intensive care unit (ICU).
METHODS: Design: Retrospective cohort study. Setting: An eleven-bed medical ICU in a tertiary care, university hospital. Patients: A consecutive cohort of 100 patients, >80 yrs old, admitted to the Medical ICU from July 2008 to December 2009. Interventions: None.
RESULTS: We looked at 100 patients, age 80 years and older admitted to the Medical ICU at a tertiary care center over a period of 18 months and followed them through discharge from the hospital. 72 patients were discharged from the hospital either to a rehabilitation center, nursing home or their home. 28 patients died during the course of their hospitalization, either in the ICU or after they were transferred out of the ICU to a medical floor.
CONCLUSION: Aggressive medical care of the elderly, especially those 80 years and older is an issue under vigorous discussion. Care in an intensive care unit (ICU) accounts for a large part of the health care budget, accounting for 20% to 30% of hospital care costs. Providing elderly patients with ICU care has been somewhat controversial as it has been suggested that their outcomes are much worse when compared to the outcomes of younger patients. However, our study shows that the majority of elderly patients are likely to survive an ICU stay and eventually leave the hospital.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Based on historical controls, our data seems to suggest that age may not have a major impact on outcome from critical illness and therefore, potentially justifies aggressive treatment of elderly patients.
DISCLOSURE: Vishal Sekhri, No Financial Disclosure Information; No Product/Research Disclosure Information