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Chest. 1995 Jul;108(1):226-32.

Life expectancy of ventilator-dependent persons with spinal cord injuries.

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1
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The purpose of this study is to estimate age-specific life expectancies for ventilator-dependent persons with spinal cord injury (SCI).

DESIGN:

Nonconcurrent prospective study.

SETTING:

Federally designated model SCI care systems.

PATIENTS:

The study included all 435 persons admitted to a model SCI care system between 1973 and 1992 who survived at least 24 h postinjury and who were either ventilator dependent at rehabilitation discharge or who died prior to discharge while still ventilator dependent.

INTERVENTION:

None.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

Standardized mortality ratio (SMR), life expectancy, and causes of death.

RESULTS:

The overall 1-year survival rate was 25.4%, while the 15-year survival rate was 16.8%. Among those who survived the first year, cumulative survival over the next 14 years was 61.4%. The mortality rate for persons injured since 1980 was reduced by 60% compared with persons injured between 1973 and 1979. Among year 1 survivors, the subsequent mortality rate was reduced by 39% for persons injured between 1980 and 1985, and 91% for persons injured since 1986, relative to persons injured between 1973 and 1979. The leading cause of death was respiratory complications, particularly pneumonia.

CONCLUSIONS:

With the development of improved methods of prevention and management of respiratory complications in this population, life expectancies should continue to improve. As a result, additional attention should be focused on enhancing the quality of life for these individuals.

PMID:
7606963
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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