To discuss the role of the clinical pharmacist in hospital care of critical elderly patients.
Critical patients aged 60 years and over admitted by the clinical staff to an Intermediate Care Unit were followed-up for 4 months regarding their drug therapies. Medical prescriptions were reviewed daily on the basis of patients’ clinical conditions, with the view to identify opportunities for optimization of drug therapies, contributing to safer prescribing, reduced discomfort and correct and rational use of drugs.
A total of 386 prescriptions were reviewed and 212 pharmaceutical interventions performed; 64.3% of prescriptions were classified as accepted with changes, 28.5% not accepted and 7.2% verbally accepted with no changes. Interventions included drug therapy indications, directions for dose adjustment, reduction of the use of potentially inappropriate medications for older patients, prescription adjustments, discontinuing unnecessary drugs, among others.
The significant number of interventions accepted by the healthcare staff supports the relevance of the clinical pharmacist as a member of the multiprofessional team, especially in care of the elderly.
Health of the elderly; Pharmacists; Drug therapy; Critical care; Pharmacy service; hospital