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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Short- and long-term outcome of patients aged 65 and over after cardiac surgery

Abstract

To analyze the short and long-term outcome of patients aged 65 years and over, after cardiac surgery. Over a 12-year period we analyzed 1750 patients with a mean age of 70.09 3.94 years. They were classified into three age groups: between 65 and 69 (n = 709), between 70 and 74 (n = 695) and 75 years and above (n = 346). Follow-up information was obtained by telephone conversation after a 6-month and 3-year period of discharge from the hospital. Included in the follow-up were 1235 patients and an interview was conducted with 501 (40.6%) patients or their next of kin.

Even though the in-hospital morbidity was highest in the oldest age group, there were no significant differences between groups (p = 0.051). There was no significant difference between groups in the length of hospital stay. The greatest in-hospital mortality was noted in the oldest age group (p = 0.046) compared to patients in the age groups between 65 and 69 and between 70 and 74 years old (p = 0.023 and p = 0.036). In the follow-up study, there was a significantly smaller telephone feedback response in the oldest age group compared to the youngest group (p = 0.003). There were no differences between the groups with respect to mortality and cardiac death after the 6-month and 3-year periods of discharge from hospital.

Our data showed that despite a poor short – and long-term outcome in patients aged 75 and over, all patients had an acceptable operative risk.

Key Words: elderly; outcome; cardiac surgery

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Geriatric patients in the ICU

Abstract

The proportion of patients older than 80 years admitted to the ICU is constantly increasing. Despite well-known admission criteria, older patients are frequently not referred and are admitted to the ICU. The emergency ward and ICU management of acute medical conditions should not depend on age only, but should be tailored to the individual patient in line with standards of care. After the successful treatment of acute illness, elderly people should receive complex and prolonged physical, social and psychological rehabilitation. Nevertheless, we must be able to recognize the point of futile treatment and provide proper palliative care. Less traumatised procedures that are better tolerated are preferred in the management of specific medical conditions in geriatric patients. General preventive programs promoting healthy lifestyles have been developed, but these must be implemented by a majority of older people. Medical science should promote adequate education of all professionals who are involved in the treatment of geriatric patients; societies should provide equal access to health-care in developed countries and countries in transition.

Key words: intensive care unit, outcome, survival, elderly, treatment intensity

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