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INFLUENCE OF AGE ON DECISION-MAKING PROCESS TO LIMIT OR WITHDRAW LIFE-SUSTAINING TREATMENT IN THE INTENSIVE CARE UNIT – A SINGLE CENTER PROSPECTIVE OBSERVATIONAL STUDY

G. Ducos, O. Mathe, L. Balardy, S. Lozano, M. Kurrek, J. Ruiz, B. Riu-Poulenc, O. Fourcade, S. Silva, V. Minville

J Frailty Aging 2017;6(3):148-153

Background: The increasing age in the industrialized countries places significant demands on intensive care unit (ICU) resources and this triggers debates about end-of-life care for the elderly. Objectives: We sought to determine the impact of age on the decision-making process to limit or withdraw life-sustaining treatment (DWLST) in an ICU in France. We hypothesized that there are differences in the decision-making process for young and old patients. Design, setting, participants: We prospectively studied end-of-life decision-making for all consecutive admissions (n=390) to a tertiary care university ICU in Toulouse, France over a period of 11 months between January and October 2011. Results: Among the 390 patients included in the study (age ≥70yo, n=95; age <70yo, n=295) DWLST were more common for patients 70 years or older (43% for age ≥70yo vs. 16% for age <70yo, p <0.0001). Reasons for DWLST were different in the 2 groups, with the ‘no alternative treatment options’ and ‘severity of illness’ as the most frequent reasons cited for the younger group whereas it was ‘severity of illness’ for the older group. ‘Advanced age’ led to DWLSTs in 43% of the decisions in the group ≥70yo (vs. 0% in the group <70yo, p <0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression showed a high SAPS II score and age ≥70yo as independent risk factors for DWLSTs in the ICU. We did not find age ≥70yo as an independent risk factor for mortality in ICU. Conclusion: We found that age ≥70yo was an independent risk factor for DWLSTs for patients in the ICU, but not for their mortality. Reasons leading to DWLSTs are different according to the age of patients.

CITATION:
G. Ducos ; O. Mathe ; L. Balardy ; S. Lozano ; M. Kurrek ; J. Ruiz ; B. Riu-Poulenc ; O. Fourcade ; S. Silva ; V. Minville (2017): Influence of age on decision-making process to limit or withdraw life-sustaining treatment in the intensive care unit – A single center prospective observational study. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2017.22

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