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Older survivors of mechanical ventilation can expect significant disability
Date:12/8/2010

times per year for four years, after which they rotate off the panel and new beneficiaries are invited to join. Questions related to health and functional status are asked every autumn.

For this study, the researchers linked beneficiaries' survey responses from the autumn survey with their responses one year later. Beneficiaries who were hospitalized during the 12-month period and who survived until their next autumn interview were included and divided into two groups: those who had received mechanical ventilation during hospitalization and those who had not. The researchers reviewed more than 130,000 person-years of data, from which about 12,000 person-years of data qualified for inclusion in the study.

"We restricted the study to include Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older who were living in the community at the time of the initial interview, and who were not enrolled in a group health plan, since these plans do not report claims data to Medicare," said Dr. Barnato. "Each beneficiary could contribute up to three years of observation during their four years of participation in the MCBS."

Researchers rated patients' pre- and post-hospitalization disability levels with regard to mobility and activities of daily living (ADL), rating patients in both areas using scores ranging from 0 (not disabled) to 100 (completely disabled).

Comparing the two groups, the researchers found those who survived mechanical ventilation experienced 30 percent greater ADL disability (14.9 vs. 11.5) and 14 percent greater mobility difficulty (25.4 vs. 22.3) than non-ventilated counterparts.

"This is especially important because the pre-hospitalization scores of the patients who were and weren't mechanically ventilated were similar," Dr. Barnato said. "Being sick enough to require mechanical ventilation, and perhaps even the experience of mechanical ventilation itself, really takes the vim and vigor out of people."

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Contact: Brian Kell
bkell@thoracic.org
212-315-6442
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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