Background: Elderly patients are an increasingly larger group of injured trauma care patients. Comorbidities influence outcome. Little is known of short- and long-term mortality in the elderly who survive initial resuscitation. Methods: Short- and long-term mortality was retrospectively analyzed in 363 consecutively injured patients (Injury severity score >15) surviving more than 3 days after admission to a level 1 trauma center (including 197 patients >60 years). Cardiac morbidity was the focus. Results: Survival to hospital discharge was similar comparing older patients with the entire group. Mortality increased incrementally with age. In older patients, cardiac morbidity was observed in 28% (fatal in 7); 2-year mortality was 36% (older group) and 60% (patients sustaining cardiac complications). Most elderly (80%) were discharged to long-term care. Conclusions: Elderly who survive initial resuscitation are as likely to survive to discharge as younger patients, but long-term survival is significantly lower as age increases. Cardiac morbidity is associated with higher long-term mortality. Most elderly are discharged to long-term care.
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