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October 20, 1993

Mechanical Ventilation for the Elderly-Reply

JAMA. 1993;270(15):1811. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03510150044018

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In Reply.  —I wish to thank Maurer and colleagues for their thoughtful letter concerning our article and for presenting data from the SICU of The New York Hospital. In their letter they stated, "Cohen et al reported no long-term survivors of patients whose age plus duration of ventilation equaled or exceeded 100." This is not completely accurate. We did in fact report that two patients survived hospitalization, and one of these survived 4.5 years.The experience of Maurer's group appears better than ours, but I would question whether or not these differences were statistically significant considering the small sample sizes. Their study population had a survival rate of only about 30% at 2.5 years after discharge (eight of 26 patients requiring at least 3 days of mechanical ventilation). How does this compare with the survival rate of patients younger than 80 years of age? Further information about this patient population,