We are using our ICU's more often than we have in the past, according to a new study. As published in the Academy of Emergency Medicine, George Washington University researchers found a 50 percent increase in Intensive Care Unit admissions between 2002 and 2009.
As the patient's get older, we are utilizing intensive care more often. The group with the largest jump in ICU admission was those over the age of 85 years. That isn't likely to surprise, given the aging population in the United States.
Yet, the recent study that highlights an increase in hospice admissions only after intensive and expensive ICU care in the last few days of life highlights the fact that we are still aggressively treating patients in the last chapter of their lives. That Journal of the American Medical Association study appeared with an editorial calling for an end to aggressive hospitalization in end of life care by increasing planning and communication between patients, families and doctors prior those final days.
The article also notes that patient's also spent up to 5 hours in the Emergency Department w