Elderly patients rarely asked their opinion about ICU admissions

Despite the healthcare industry's move to patient-centered care, a new study finds that many ER doctors don't ask elderly patients their opinion about admission to intensive care. The study, published in Age and Ageing, analyzed data from a previous study of 2,100 patients over the age of 80 who came to emergency departments at 15 hospitals in France. All were capable of expressing their opinion but doctors only asked 270 patients. Older ER doctors were less likely than younger doctors to ask a patient's opinion. But it's important to ask, Walter E. Limehouse, M.D., of the Medical University of South Carolina, told Reuters Health. An elderly person may not want aggressive treatment like intensive care, use of ventilators or feeding tubes, he said, adding it is one reason why U.S. ER docs ask patients whether they have an advance directive or treatment plan. Article

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