Frailty is an aging-related, multisystem clinical state characterized by loss of physiological reserves and diminished capacity to withstand exposure to stressors. Frailty increases the risk of serious adverse outcomes, compared with that of nonfrail people of the same age. Adverse outcomes can be severe and may include procedural complications, delirium, significant functional decline and disability, prolonged hospital length of stay, extended recovery periods, and death. As older adults make up a continually growing proportion of hospitalized patients, critical care nurses need to understand how to recognize frailty and be familiar with related clinical practice implications. Such knowledge underpins effective organization and delivery of care strategies aimed at minimizing harm and maximizing positive outcomes for frail older adults. Drawing from recent literature, this article explores frailty and critical illness by discussing 2 dominant models of the concept. Using a clinical case study, links between frailty and critical care nursing practices are highlighted and clinical considerations are explored.
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Feature| June 01 2018
Frailty in Critical Care: Examining Implications for Clinical Practices
Jennifer A. Gibson, MSN, RN, CCN(C);
Jennifer A. Gibson is a doctoral candidate at the University of British Columbia and a patient care manager in the Heart Centre at St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Canada.
Corresponding author: Jennifer A. Gibson, msn, rn, ccn(c), Heart Centre, St Paul’s Hospital, Office 487, 4th Floor, Burrard Building, 1081 Burrard St, Vancouver, BC, Canada V6Z1Y6 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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Crit Care Nurse (2018) 38 (3): 29–35.
Jennifer A. Gibson, Sarah Crowe; Frailty in Critical Care: Examining Implications for Clinical Practices. Crit Care Nurse 1 June 2018; 38 (3): 29–35. doi: https://doi.org/10.4037/ccn2018336
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