[Skip to Content]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address 54.163.92.62. Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
[Skip to Content Landing]
Article
October 24, 1990

Life-Sustaining Therapies in Elderly Persons

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Washington University School of Medicine (Dr Peter Tuteur), and the Department of Sociology, Washington University (Dr Susan Tuteur), St Louis, Mo.

From the Department of Internal Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, Washington University School of Medicine (Dr Peter Tuteur), and the Department of Sociology, Washington University (Dr Susan Tuteur), St Louis, Mo.

JAMA. 1990;264(16):2118. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450160088036
Abstract

In a time of concern about limited health care resources, it is reasonable to question the efficacy of their use. Two studies in this issue of The Journal focus on life-sustaining therapies. When is their use appropriate?

Longstreth and colleagues1 look at out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). They ask: Can the elderly benefit from this procedure? A review of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests treated by paramedics over a recent 5-year period in Seattle, Wash, reveals that 140 persons (10%) 70 years and older were resuscitated, admitted to a hospital, and discharged alive; of these, 112 went home. From these data, Longstreth et al conclude, "Elderly patients can benefit from attempted resuscitation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest."

Also in this issue, Murphy and Matcher2 explore a way to understand how life-sustaining therapies benefit patients. In an attempt to be at once critical and objective, they propose a mathematical model that quantifies

×