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Death After Discharge Rates Higher in Elderly ICU Patients
Date:3/2/2010

appropriate delivery of care. These patients could have been discharged prematurely from acute care hospitals, and needed a higher level of care than they received," Wunsch and colleagues wrote.

"It also is possible that these patients could have had better outcomes if discharged home, but were not able to be sent there due to lack of sufficient support from family or friends to act as caregivers. These findings highlight the need for a much more detailed understanding of the long-term care needs of these patients," the researchers concluded.

There has been little research into the outcomes of elderly ICU survivors, Wunsch and colleagues noted.

"Patients older than 65 years now make up more than half of all ICU admissions," they wrote. "Information is needed to understand the patterns of mortality, morbidity and health-care resource use in the months and years that follow critical illness to allow for better targeting of follow-up care."

More information

The Society of Critical Care Medicine has more about critical care.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association, news release, March 2, 2010


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