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GeriPal - A Geriatrics and Palliative Care Podcast

Feb 11, 2021

Nursing home residents have been devastated by COVID.  Somewhere around 40% of deaths from COVID have been among nursing home residents, though they make up just a sliver of the US population.

Prognostication among nursing home residents who have COVID is important for a host of reasons - for counseling patients and families about what to expect, for making clinical decisions, and potentially for allocation of scarce resources such as treatments.

In today’s podcast, we talk with Orestis Panagiotou and Elizabeth White, the authors of a JAMA IM study that finds that physical and cognitive function are key predictors of mortality prediction for nursing home residents with COVID.  We also talk with Marlon Aliberti, who authored a commentary.  

Physical and cognitive function are easy to assess measures that should be routinely captured for older adults, in nursing homes and elsewhere.  Study after study document the importance of function to risk prediction.

We also have a brief debate about how vaccinations should be allocated - according to a “one size fits all” age criteria, or a prognostic model that individualizes risk.  Though I’m an advocate for prognostic models (see I’m actually on the age criteria alone side of the debate, with generous distribution among hardest hit minority communities. 

And sing along to This Little Light of Mine!