PURPOSE: To determine the outcome of elderly (>65 years) admitted to medical/surgical ICU compared to patients who are younger than 65 years. Also to compare the two groups in terms of complication rate, length of stay and number of ventilator days.
METHODS: Chart review of randomly selected ICU patients that stayed for > 48 hours over one year. Sample was divided into two groups: older than 65 years and younger than 65 years. Data abstracted included patients’ demographics, admission diagnoses, co-morbidities, number of ventilator days, ICU & hospital length of stay (LOS), number of complications and final outcome. Chi square test and independent T-test were used to compare the variables in the two groups.
RESULTS: 150 patient charts were reviewed. 76 patients (50.6%) were > 65 years and 74 patients (49%) were < 65 years. The two groups had similar APACHE score and male/female ratio. 13 patients (>65 years) died (17.8%) versus 8 patients (<65 years) died (10.8%) (P > 0.05). Mean number of ICU days were 7.93 days for (>65 years) and 8.06 days for (<65 years) (T-score = 0.11, not significant). Mean number of hospital days were 16.91 days (>65 years) and 17.90 days (<65 years) (T-score = 0.45, not significant). Mean number of ventilator days was 6.88 days for >65 years compared to 7.18 days for <65 years (T-score = 0.15, not significant). The numbers of ICU complications were similar in the two groups during their ICU stay.
CONCLUSION: There was no statistically significant difference in mortality rates, ICU-LOS, hospital LOS, number of ventilator days and ICU complications between critically ill patients older than 65 years and those younger than 65 years. Therefore, elderly patients (>65years) admitted to ICU are not at higher risk of dying or at increased risk of complications compared to younger patients.
CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Age is not a good prognostic indicator of ICU morbidity or mortality. Also there is no over-utilization of health care resources in ICU elderly patients compared to younger ones.
DISCLOSURE: Shashikalaa Kura, None.