• Tolerance of colonoscopy and questioning its utility in the elderly population

      Rathore, F; Sultan, N; Byrne, D (Irish Medical Journal, 2014-09)
      This study was carried out from Jan ’12-Dec ’12 to assess current practice in Kerry General Hospital against the age related indicators for colonoscopies. A total of 1474 colonoscopies were performed,1177 (79.9%) were diagnostic and 297 (20.1%) were therapeutic, patients were divided into 4 age groups under 75, 75-80, 81-85, 86+. The trend analysis revealed an increase in diagnostic colonoscopies and decrease in therapeutic colonoscopies with age. 664 (45.04%) of colonoscopies were reported normal which made up the majority of the total diagnoses, 1330 (90.2%) of colonoscopies occurred without any complications. Main complications were patient discomfort being the highest, present in 112 (7.6%) of patients, and lowest being urticaria around the IV site present in 1 (0.1%) of the cases. Patient discomfort was higher in younger patients as evidenced by 98 cases aged <75, followed by 11 cases aged 75-80, 2 cases aged 81-85 and 1 case aged >86. Highest percentage of poor tolerance was found in 14 (1.1%) of total patients <75, 1 (0.8%) of total patients aged 75-80, 1(1.7%) of total patients in age group 81-85 and none (0%) in age group >86. We have established the safety of colonoscopy, low rate of complications and a better tolerance in the elderly from this study, however, its utility, especially in presence of other comorbidities in elderly is questionable.