Ageing and frailty
DOI link for Ageing and frailty
Ageing and frailty book
Ageing population will have a significant impact on public-health service resources. As patients age, there is an accompanying physiological decline, the presence of multiple comorbidities, polypharmacy and frailty. This coupled with an acute illness and admission to critical care can lead to both short- and long-term adverse outcomes. Identifying which of these patients will benefit most from critical care is therefore a challenge facing critical care physicians. Frailty is a widely used term describing the state of vulnerability that puts a patient at increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Frailty can be associated with disease, lack of activity and mobility, poor nutrition, stress and the physiological changes associated with ageing. It is a recognised determinant of morbidity, mortality and long-term outcomes such as increasing disability and institutionalisation. Frailty assessment provides additional prognostic value to clinicians in decisions surrounding appropriateness of an intensive care admission, withholding of life-sustaining treatment and end-of-life care decision-making.