Current Geriatrics Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 166–173 | Cite as

The Presentation of Respiratory Failure in Elderly Individuals

  • Raquel R. BrittoEmail author
  • Danielle S. R. Vieira
  • Fernando A. Botoni
  • Adriana L. A. S. Botoni
  • Marcelo Velloso
Pulmonology and Respiratory Care (AI Musani and E Folch, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Pulmonology and Respiratory Care


Respiratory failure (RF) is a prevalent condition whose presence in elderly patients may be complex and require specific and specialized intervention. A multidimensional evaluation is necessary to choose the best treatment, taking into consideration functional capacity and frailty. Cardiogenic pulmonary edema, community-acquired pneumonia, pulmonary embolism, bronchitis, and acute asthma are the main causes of RF in this patient population. Despite the limited availability of studies and data, including systematic reviews, regarding RF treatment in elderly patients, in this update, we synthesize data to guide diagnosis, treatment, and health care decision making.


Respiratory failure Intensive care Elderly Diagnosis Treatment Noninvasive ventilation Invasive ventilation Oxygen therapy Pulmonary rehabilitation 



Dr. Britto is supported by research grants from CNPq (Brazilian Agency) and FAPEMIG (Minas Gerais State Agency).

Compliance with Ethics Guidelines

Conflict of Interest

Raquel R. Britto, Danielle S. R. Vieira, Fernando A. Botoni, Adriana L. A. S. Botoni, and Marcelo Velloso declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raquel R. Britto
    • 1
    Email author
  • Danielle S. R. Vieira
    • 2
  • Fernando A. Botoni
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Adriana L. A. S. Botoni
    • 6
    • 7
  • Marcelo Velloso
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiotherapyUniversidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)Belo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Department of PhysiotherapyUniversidade Federal de Santa CatarinaAraranguáBrazil
  3. 3.School of MedicineUFMGBelo HorizonteBrazil
  4. 4.Hospital das ClínicasUFMGBelo HorizonteBrazil
  5. 5.Hospital Universitario Risoleta Tolentino Neves, Intensive Care UnitUFMGBelo HorizonteBrazil
  6. 6.Prefeitura Municipal de Belo Horizonte and UNIMEDBelo HorizonteBrazil
  7. 7.Hospital Nossa Senhora de LourdesNova LimaBrazil

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