Pattern and Outcome of Elderly Admissions into the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a Low Resource Tertiary Hospital
Background: Globally, the population of the elderly is increasing and the greatest increase is occurring in the developing and middle income countries because of falling death rate and high birth rate. The ageing of the population in developing countries may result in increasing requirement for health care facilities including ICU care for the elderly. This study was aimed at assessing the pattern and outcome of elderly patients’ admissions into the ICU of our hospital and identifies the determinants of outcome.
Method: This was a retrospective study covering a 5 year period (January1st 2010 to 31st December 2014) in the ICU of a sub-Saharan tertiary hospital. Data was obtained from the review of ICU admission records over this period. We included as elderly patients aged 65years and above.
Results: During the period under review, 90 cases were identified but only 62 cases were available for review (68.9%). There were 40 males and 22 females with ages ranging between 65 and 92years. Surgical admissions accounted for 75.8% of admissions while medical admissions were 24.2%. The overall ICU mortality in the elderly was 58.1%.The major predictors of mortality were: need for endotracheal intubation (p=0.001), mechanical ventilation (p=0.001), vasopressor (p=0.001), electrolyte derangement (p=0.001), sepsis on admission (p=0.001), shock on admission (p=0.001).
Conclusion: Elderly patients admitted into the ICU are a population with an increased risk of mortality. The predictors of high risk of death are sepsis on admission, septic shock, need for vasopressor, endotracheal intubation and or mechanical ventilation and the presence of electrolyte derangement. The outcome of this study calls for a need to pay more attention to this rapidly expanding group of the population.
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