33% of elderly patients died after receiving intubation in the ER

A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society examined the outcomes following emergency department intubation among patients 65 years and older.

Researchers studied the outcomes of 41,000-plus adults, aged 65 years and older, who were intubated in emergency departments at 262 hospitals across the U.S. The study period ranged from 2008 through 2015.

The study found 33 percent of the patients died in the hospital after receiving intubation. Approximately 24 percent were discharged home, and 41 percent were discharged to a location other than home, for example a nursing home.

For patients older than 90 years, the in-hospital death rate following intubation was 50 percent, as compared to 29 percent patients between 65 and 74 years dying post-intubation.

"It's important that older patients, their families and their care team are aware of this information and can use it to make informed, shared decisions about whether the patient should receive emergency intubation should such intubation be needed," said lead study author Kei Ouchi, MD, of the department of emergency medicine at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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