Intensive Care Management of The Critically Ill Elderly Population: The Case of ‘Sotiria’ Regional Chest Diseases Hospital of Athens, Greece

Leonidas Grigorakos, Ioannis Nikolopoulos, Katerina Sakagianni, Nikolaos Markou, Dimitrios Nikolaou, Ioannis Kechagioglou, Dimitris Veldekis


The aim of this study was to assess the characteristics and short-term outcome of elderly patients admitted to the ICU of ‘Sotiria’ Regional Chest Diseases Hospital of Athens. We examined retrospectively the records of 344 patients aged ≥70 years old admitted to the ICU of a tertiary hospital during a five-year period, from 2009-2013. We reported demographic and clinical data, length of ICU stay, need for mechanical ventilation and ICU mortality. Among 1730 admitted to the ICU during this period, the elderly comprised 344 (19.8%). The main causes of ICU admission were Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) exacerbation (n=169), postoperative respiratory failure (n=78), acute respiratory failure of various etiologies (n=76) and cardiogenic pulmonary edema (n=25). Overall mortality rate of elderly patients was 41.5%. According to age groups, 200 patients were 70-74 years old with a mortality rate of 47%, 42 patients were 80-84 years old presenting a mortality rate of 28.5%, while 14 patients aged over 85 years old, presented a mortality of 42.8%. The mean length of ICU stay (LOS) for the elderly patients was 11.2 days, while the corresponding LOS value for younger patients was 8.1 days. Elderly patients present highest mortality than younger population. However, mortality does not correlate exclusively with advancing age over 70 years, but mostly with the underlying disease. Therefore, age should not be the sole determinant of ICU admission.


ICU, Pulmonary Disease, Elderly Patients

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