Withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining therapy in older adults (≥ 80 years) admitted to the intensive care unit.

Guidet, Bertrand; Flaatten, Hans; Boumendil, Ariane; Morandi, Alessandro; Andersen, Finn H; Artigas, Antonio; Bertolini, Guido; Cecconi, Maurizio; Christensen, Steffen; Faraldi, Loredana; Fjølner, Jesper; Jung, Christian; Marsh, Brian; Moreno, Rui; Oeyen, Sandra; Öhman, Christina Agwald; Pinto, Bernardo Bollen; Soliman, Ivo W; Szczeklik, Wojciech; Valentin, Andreas; ... (2018). Withholding or withdrawing of life-sustaining therapy in older adults (≥ 80 years) admitted to the intensive care unit. Intensive care medicine, 44(7), pp. 1027-1038. Springer 10.1007/s00134-018-5196-7

[img] Text
2018 - Guidet - ICM - PMID 29774388 .pdf - Published Version
Restricted to registered users only
Available under License Publisher holds Copyright.

Download (861kB) | Request a copy

PURPOSE To document and analyse the decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment (LST) in a population of very old patients admitted to the ICU. METHODS This prospective study included intensive care patients aged ≥ 80 years in 309 ICUs from 21 European countries with 30-day mortality follow-up. RESULTS LST limitation was identified in 1356/5021 (27.2%) of patients: 15% had a withholding decision and 12.2% a withdrawal decision (including those with a previous withholding decision). Patients with LST limitation were older, more frail, more severely ill and less frequently electively admitted. Patients with withdrawal of LST were more frequently male and had a longer ICU length of stay. The ICU and 30-day mortality were, respectively, 29.1 and 53.1% in the withholding group and 82.2% and 93.1% in the withdrawal group. LST was less frequently limited in eastern and southern European countries than in northern Europe. The patient-independent factors associated with LST limitation were: acute ICU admission (OR 5.77, 95% CI 4.32-7.7), Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) score (OR 2.08, 95% CI 1.78-2.42), increased age (each 5 years of increase in age had a OR of 1.22 (95% CI 1.12-1.34) and SOFA score [OR of 1.07 (95% CI 1.05-1.09 per point)]. The frequency of LST limitation was higher in countries with high GDP and was lower in religious countries. CONCLUSIONS The most important patient variables associated with the instigation of LST limitation were acute admission, frailty, age, admission SOFA score and country. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov (ID: NTC03134807).

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Intensive Care, Emergency Medicine and Anaesthesiology (DINA) > Clinic of Intensive Care








Mirella Aeberhard

Date Deposited:

04 Jun 2018 16:04

Last Modified:

23 Jul 2018 01:32

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Prof. Dr. med. Joerg C. Schefold, Universitätsklinik für Intensivmedizin, ist bei der Studie «Collaborator» der VIP-1 study group aber nicht Haupt-Autor. Aus diesem Grund kann er nicht als Autor aufgeführt werden.

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Elderly Ethics Intensive care Life sustaining treatment Withdrawal Withholding





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback