Reviews in Clinical Gerontology

Clinical geriatrics

Advances in critical care for the older patient

Diane Monkhouse 

The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK


As the proportion of elderly people in the general population increases, so does the number admitted to critical care. In caring for an older patient, the intensivist has to balance the complexities of an acute illness, pre-existing co-morbidities and patient preference for life-sustaining treatment with the chances of survival, quality of life after critical illness and rationing of expensive, limited resources. This remains one of the most challenging areas of critical care practice.

(Online publication March 06 2013)

Key words:

  • older patient;
  • critical care;
  • life-sustaining treatment


Address for correspondence: Diane Monkhouse, Consultant in Anaesthesia & Critical Care, The James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW, UK. Email: