Profile of elderly people hospitalized in general intensive care units in Rio Grande, southern Brazil: results of a cross-sectional survey

Schein, Luiz Eduardo Corrêa; Cesar, Juraci Almeida


At the end of the first quarter of this century, Brazil will have the sixth largest population for people aged 60 years or more worldwide. This will increase the demands on health services for this sector. This study aimed at assessing the profile of patients in this age group who were admitted to intensive care units (ICU) in the city of Rio Grande, Southern Brazil. A cross-sectional survey was carried out between April/2007 and March/2008 in the two local hospitals. Family members answered a standardized questionnaire that collected data about demographic and socioeconomic characte- ristics, household conditions, use of health services and current clinical conditions. Among the 213 elderly people included in this study, 90% came from Rio Grande, were married, aged 70 years or more, had at least five years of schooling, earned two or more minimum wages, were owners of their hou- se and did not have private health insuran- ce; 88% had a medical appointment in the previous six months and 56% were admitted to a hospital in the previous 12 months; half of them were unconscious when they were admitted in the ICU; three quarters of them needed mechanical ventilation and 45% died within the first eight days after hospital admission. This study identified some socioeconomic and environmental characteristics and health care needed by elderly people admitted to the ICU. This information can be used to set up preventive programs and to promote adequate clinical management among this population.

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  • FAMED – Artigos publicados em periódicos