Friday , February 26 2021

It survives longer than all the other 80 years of the intensive care unit

Now, more seniors are receiving intensive care because of covid-19 than last spring. Mortality for the age group has decreased and now more than all the other 80 years survive hard care.

There are more elderly people receiving intensive care due to covid-19 today, compared to this spring.Image: Staffan Löwstedt / SvD / TT

Many more seniors are currently being offered due to covid-19 than last spring. Both in the regular room and in the intensive care unit. During weeks 49-52, 1,142 people aged 80 or older were admitted to hospital in Sweden due to covid-19, according to statistics from the National Board of Health and Welfare. Of these, a clear majority (712 people) were 90 years of age or older.

The number of elderly people cared for in intensive care has also increased, compared to last spring, when it was feared that priority would be given to people aged 80 and over, in order to fill vacancies, especially in Stockholm, where pressure in the emergency room he was like the eldest. For example, an internal hospital document, which said that priority should be given to people with a biological age over 80, provoked strong reactions.

Now, by contrast, there are significantly more 80-year-olds receiving intensive care.

– You may have learned that it is worth it, because many of these patients actually survive, says Sten Walther, associate professor, chief physician and National Health and Wellness Council expert on covid-19 and intensive care.

Between January 1 and May 31, 60% died within 30 days, of people who were 80 years of age or older and who had been cared for in the intensive care unit due to covid-19 . From September to the end of the year, the corresponding share fell to 48 percent.

This is shown by the statistics of the intensive care unit, which also show that a large proportion of these patients were still living even 90 days from the time of enrollment in the intensive care unit.

– Therefore, more than all other patients aged 80 years or older and who have been cared for in the covid-19 intensive care unit are still alive after 30 days and even after 90 days. It’s not that bad, says Sten Walther.

No one knows the reasons for improved survival. One explanation may be that healthier 80-year-olds are admitted today, compared to this spring. Alternatively, care has improved. One such improvement could be that today not all patients in the intensive care unit have a tube inserted in their throat, called intubation. Instead, many get oxygen in high-flow hair, which is not that difficult.

However, the fact that covid-19 is a problematic disease that requires the lives of many elderly people, even in intensive care, is clear when comparing this group with those who were cared for in intensive care in 2019, is to that is, for reasons other than covid19. Among these patients, mortality after 30 days was “only” 34 percent. That is, significantly lower than that of covid patients.

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