Ventilator use surges for nursing home residents with dementia

By Lisa Rapaport (Reuters Health) – The number of nursing home residents with advanced dementia who get hooked up to breathing machines has roughly doubled in recent years even though this doesn’t appear to help them live longer, a U.S. study suggests. In 2013, among every 1,000 nursing home residents with dementia who needed to be hospitalized for some reason, 78 were hooked up to mechanical ventilators, compared to just 39 out of 1,000 in 2000, the study found. Despite this surge, the mortality rate for these patients with mechanical ventilation remained constant at more than 80 percent.
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