Long-term outcomes for elderly survivors of prolonged ventilator assistance

Chest. 1989 Nov;96(5):1120-4. doi: 10.1378/chest.96.5.1120.


Care of ventilator-dependent patients requires considerable resources, yet the long-term outcomes of this type of care have rarely been described. We retrospectively investigated the posthospital course of elderly patients who survived an episode of prolonged ventilator dependency to describe survival rates, subsequent use of health care resources, and functional abilities. Our data suggest that the use of prolonged mechanical ventilation in the elderly produces few survivors at considerable expense. Poor overall outcomes occurred despite considerable consumption of medical and nursing resources by the survivors.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chicago
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Male
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data
  • Quality of Life
  • Respiration, Artificial / economics*
  • Respiratory Care Units / statistics & numerical data*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Ventilators, Mechanical