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Health Services Research

Demographic change in the intensive care unit

Demographic change in the general population is one of the major challenges in the next decades. For the health care system, aging is accompanied with predicted rises in hospital admissions, health care utilization, and expenditure. As critical care medicine is one of the most resource-intensive medical fields, understanding the consequences of population aging is of particular importance.

To this end, scenarios of demographic change in the general population are linked with possible morbidity trends to estimate future utilization of intensive care measures and total number of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU). Based on data of our electronic medical record, the current utilization of selected therapy measures (antibiotic therapy, mechanical ventilation and renal replacement) is updated to the future estimated ICU-population. The resulting scenarios contain expected admission rates, total number of patients, and utilization of the selected therapy measures for different age groups.

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