Critical Care

  • James M. Watters
  • Palmer Q. Bessey


Care of the elderly patient with critical illness is frequently more challenging than that of younger patients for several reasons. Co-morbidity is more frequent and may complicate the primary problem. Treatment goals may differ markedly from those of younger patients, and the likelihood that they can be achieved may be less. Normal, age-related declines in maximal organ system function limit the ability of the elderly patient to respond to and recover from critical illness, even in the absence of chronic medical conditions. Every effort must be made to minimize unnecessary physiologic and metabolic stresses. Homeostatic mechanisms are predictably less sensitive and effective in the elderly patient, and our clinical care must be meticulous. It is the purpose of this chapter to examine how elderly patients with critical illness differ from younger patients in terms of altered physiologic and metabolic responses, clinical outcomes, decision-making, and specific therapies.


Elderly Patient Glomerular Filtration Rate Critical Illness Acute Illness Functional Residual Capacity 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • James M. Watters
  • Palmer Q. Bessey

There are no affiliations available

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