The super-elderly population is a small but expanding group of patients who will pose a significant challenge to future healthcare resources. A snapshot audit was completed of all emergency and elective urological nonagenarian activity in a UK general hospital, including surgical outcomes in this group of patients.METHODS
Prospective and retrospective databases and clinical records were examined to identify all patients aged 90-99 years who had patient episodes between January 2006 and August 2012. Patient outcomes were compared with those for a similar cohort of 80-89-year-olds during the same time period.RESULTS
A total of 653 nonagenarian patient episodes were identified (including 138 emergency admissions, 25 emergency surgical procedures, 71 elective surgical procedures, 173 local anaesthetic procedures and 270 outpatient visits). The in-hospital mortality rate for emergency admissions was 10%. The mean length of hospital stay was significantly longer for nonagenarians than for octogenarians (14.4 vs 6.5 days, p<0.00001). The postoperative mortality rate following emergency and elective surgery was 16% and 1% for nonagenarians and octogenarians respectively.CONCLUSIONS
Nonagenarian patients often have complex medical co-morbidities and challenging social circumstances that contribute to delayed recovery from acute illness and surgery as well as long periods of hospitalisation. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach with formal input from specialist geriatric surgical services may improve patient outcomes and allow patients to be discharged to their former places of residence.