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• The elderly are more likely to need intensive care than younger patients.
• Survival is a poor indicator of outcome.
• Pre-existing organ reserve determines outcome.
• End-of-life decisions have to be made prior to admission.
• Prolongation of dying is an ever-present risk.
• Nearly 50% of all UK intensive care patients are over 65.
• Advanced directives often include some restriction in intensive care management.
• Medical admissions are higher risk than surgical admissions.
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