The wave of very old people in the intensive care unit-A challenge in decision-making

J Crit Care. 2020 Dec;60:290-293. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2020.08.030. Epub 2020 Sep 10.


In this paper the authors express the opinion that there is much to be learned about the 80+ year old age group as it relates to critical care and end-of-life matters. We need to learn how to better predict outcome, we need to learn our limitations and deal with uncertainties, we need to better communicate with our elderly patients and their caregivers and we need to engage with our colleagues in Geriatrics. There is a wave of very old people arriving in the intensive care unit and we have much to do to prepare for it and for the ethical, fair and appropriate care of these critically ill, but elderly, patients.

Keywords: Decision-making; Intensive care; Very old people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clinical Decision-Making*
  • Critical Care*
  • Critical Illness
  • Family / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Male
  • Patients
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Quality of Health Care*
  • Terminal Care*