UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: pulmonary changes with aging

Keywords: geriatrics, elderly, pulmonary, pneumothorax (PubMed Search)

Posted: 9/13/2009 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 7/5/2022)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Elderly patients are at higher risk of barotrauma with positive pressure ventilation (e.g. CPAP, BiPAP, and especially after intubation) because of decreased vital capacity and lung compliance. Watch those plateau pressures closely!

If an elderly patient develops hypotension within minutes of endotracheal intubation, always consider tension PTX (and don't forget about hypovolemia, as we've discussed before).