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Intensive care and the elderly 

Intensive care and the elderly
Intensive care and the elderly

Chris Dodds

, Chandra M. Kumar

, and Frédérique Servin

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date: 23 January 2022

Age is not an independent predictor for poor outcome from intensive care. This chapter reviews admission criteria for the elderly and the assessment of likely outcome including the differences between traumatic or surgical admissions against medical ones. Pre-existing comorbidities all limit functional recovery, and only about 60% of elderly patients get back to their preadmission level of activity, although this may not detract from their perceived quality of life. Potential bias in the use of quality-of-life measures by clinical staff is discussed. Information on the identification of futility and the move to either palliation or withdrawal of support is discussed. Complications are common in the intensive-care patient population, and the reasons that they may be irreversible in the elderly are reviewed. The limitation of care, the use of advanced directives, and the assessment of legal capacity are reviewed.

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