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Aging and Critical Care

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Title: Aging and Critical Care 

Author: Sonya R Hardin 

Publisher: Elsevier

Reviewer:  Jane Brown, Patient Safety Advisor, Worcester Acute NHS Trust

What was it like?

This is one of the Clinics Review Articles, published from the Critical Care Nursing Clinics of North America. This is written specifically for the older patient. We are facing an ever increasing aging population in the world today. These patients have complex co morbidities and a have greater mortality risk over 75 years old especially in the critical care unit.These are a important group of patients, that at times conditions can be overlooked or readmitted when this could have been preventable.

Published four times a year, each issue focuses on a single topic in the field of critical care nursing.

The topics covered in this edition include the impact of aging, sepsis, nutrition and hydration, and renal issues to name but a few of the important chapters.

What were the highlights? 

This is an excellent guide for the critical care nurse or Intensivist. Although written in North America, this is just as apt for the elderly patient in the UK.

The book is well written and easy to read. The authors in each section have spent a great deal of time researching the topics. 

The key points at the beginning of each chapter and the acknowledgement that the older patient is at risk of prolonged hospitilation and that plans need to be in place at the beginning.

These are complex patients and are extremely vulnerable and a thorough physical examination with tests to accurately diagnose the condition.

Strengths & weaknesses:

I found no weaknesses in this book. The strengths are: - this book sets out to guide the clinician and the nursing team to treat the older person with complex conditions, but to ensure that conditions are identified early and treatment plans are in place. 

The chapters address each complex issue in detail, and set out effectively to enable the reader to pull out the salient points.

Who should read it?

All clinical staff working in the critical care setting and would also be useful in the emergency departments where the first hour can be crucial for diagnosing these important but complex patients.


Aging and Critical Care 

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