According to researchers older people have a less chance of surviving lung injury. But recovery is possible if ventilator treatment is given in time. On an average older people are more susceptible to lung problems that leave them needing the help of a ventilator. What's not been clear is whether they do as well with treatment as those who are younger. A new study suggests that age is indeed a factor in the outcome.
Researchers in the US have studied 800 people needing treatment by ventilator for acute lung problems. Those with heart failure were not included in the study. They found that 50 per cent of those under 60 left hospital alive within 160 days, but the figure fell to 20 per cent for those over 60. The older patients needed more time on the ventilator and longer in intensive care. And the survival rate tended to decrease with each decade of age. The researchers conclude that age should not be a factor in deciding whether a patient needs a ventilator.