We attempt to determine the importance of patient age as a factor in the admission of acutely ill medical patients to critical care units.
In response to a hypothetical case scenario, physicians were asked to admit one of two patients to a last available critical care unit bed.
An accompanying questionnaire was used to gain a ranking of several admission factors as compared with age, and to gain demographic data regarding the study population.
Data were subjected to nonparametric statistical analysis.
When age was the only difference between two patients in a hypothetical case scenario, 80.7% of respondents chose the younger patient (age 56 years) for admission, 13.2% chose the older patient (age 82 years), and 6.2% abstained.
Following the provision of more detailed medical and social information, however, only 53.5% chose the younger patient, 41.2% chose the older patient, and 5.3% continued to abstain.
In a ranking of several admission factors, age was found to be of less importance than severity ofpresenting illness, previous medical history, and do not resuscitate status, but of more importance than patient motivation, ability to contribute to society, family support, and ability to pay for care.
Age is a factor considered by physicians in the admission of acutely ill medical patients to critical care units.
Other medical and social factors, however, can effect the impact of patient age on treatment decisions.
Mots-clés Pascal : Admissibilité, Service hospitalier, Soin intensif, Critère âge, Enquête, Médecin, Résultat, Vieillard, Homme, Ethique
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Admissibility, Hospital ward, Intensive care, Age criterion, Inquiry, Physician, Result, Elderly, Human, Ethics
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0339116
Code Inist : 002B30A04D. Création : 01/03/1996.