Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 217–219 | Cite as

Ten things to know about critically ill elderly patients

  • Guillaume Leblanc
  • Ariane Boumendil
  • Bertrand Guidet
What's New in Intensive Care


The proportion of the world population aged 60 years or over is expected to increase from 12 % in 2013 to 21 % in 2050 [1]. This increase will represent more than 2 billion elders, including 400 million aged 80 years or over. As the population ages, intensive care units (ICU) are facing an increasing demand for care of the elderly [2], with patients aged 80 or over now representing 10–20 % of all ICU admissions.

1. The benefit of intensive care is controversial

Elderly patients have a higher prevalence of chronic diseases and an age-related diminution of physiological reserve, which makes them more vulnerable to acute illnesses. This vulnerability puts them at high risk of death when admitted to the ICU and potentially mitigates the benefits of intensive care. Observational studies demonstrated conflicting results on the matter, with decreased [3] or unchanged [4, 5] mortality in elderly patients admitted to the ICU versus those admitted elsewhere.

2. Few elements help ICU...


Intensive Care Unit Intensive Care Unit Admission Intensive Care Unit Stay Intensive Care Unit Mortality Advanced Care Planning 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and ESICM 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillaume Leblanc
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ariane Boumendil
    • 2
  • Bertrand Guidet
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Anesthesiology and Critical CareUniversité LavalQuebecCanada
  2. 2.Service de Réanimation Médicale, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (AP-HP)Hôpital Saint-AntoineParisFrance
  3. 3.Sorbonne UniversitésUniversité Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 06ParisFrance
  4. 4.Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM), UMR_S 1136Institut Pierre Louis d’Épidémiologie et de Santé PubliqueParisFrance

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