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Withdrawing and withholding treatments ICU

Giuseppe R Gristina, Francesca Baroncelli, Marco Vergano
In the last decades, mortality from severe acute illnesses has considerably declined thanks to the advances in intensive care medicine. Meanwhile, critical care physicians realized that lifesustaining treatments (LST) may not be appropriate for every patient, and end-of-life care in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) started to receive growing attention. Most deaths occurring in the ICU now follow a decision to forgo life-sustaining treatments (DFLST), which can be implemented either by withdrawing (WDLST) or withholding (WHLST) life-sustaining treatments...
January 17, 2018: Minerva Anestesiologica
Barbara G Jericho
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The aim of this review is to examine literature relating to the withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy (WLST). RECENT FINDINGS: Discussions regarding end-of-life issues in adults and children are not occurring comprehensively. Discussions relating to the WLST in the pediatric population varies by institution and may vary by race, age, health insurance, diagnosis, and severity of illness. Completing advance directives prior to placement of life-sustaining treatments is not consistent practice...
January 15, 2018: Current Opinion in Anaesthesiology
Jean-Pierre Quenot, Fiona Ecarnot, Nicolas Meunier-Beillard, Auguste Dargent, Jean-Pierre Eraldi, François Bougerol, Audrey Large, Pascal Andreu, Jean-Philippe Rigaud
Two essential components of the profession of a medical doctor are the constant review of the patient's therapeutic project, and collaboration between healthcare professionals. The profession of intensive care unit (ICU) physician goes further in terms of responsibility, vis-à-vis the intensive treatments dispensed to the patients, and the physician's responsibilities towards the patient's family and the caregiving team, also bearing in mind that ICU care is costly in terms of human and financial resources...
December 2017: Annals of Translational Medicine
Andrea Cortegiani, Vincenzo Russotto, Santi Maurizio Raineri, Cesare Gregoretti, Antonino Giarratano, Sebastiano Mercadante
BACKGROUND: The aim of this paper is to collect data on the practice of palliative care, withholding and withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies, and management of end of life (EOL) in Italian intensive care units (ICUs). METHODS: Web-based survey among Italian anesthesiologists endorsed by the Italian Society of Anesthesiology Analgesia Reanimation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI). The survey consists of 27 close-ended and 2 open-ended questions. RESULTS: Eight hundred and five persons responded to the full list of questions...
December 15, 2017: Supportive Care in Cancer: Official Journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
Swagata Tripathy, Pragyan K Routray, Jagdish C Mishra
Background: Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses have a vital role in the implementation of end of life (EOL) care. There is limited data on the attitude of ICU nurses toward EOL and palliation. Aim: This study aimed to investigate knowledge, attitude, and beliefs of intensive care nurses in eastern India toward EOL. Materials and Methods: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to delegates in two regional critical care nurses' training programs...
October 2017: Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine
Carl Thomas Anthon, Anders Granholm, Anders Perner, Jon Henrik Laake, Morten Hylander Møller
INTRODUCTION: Evidence exists that unblinded randomised clinical trials (RCTs) overestimate intervention effects compared with blinded RCTs. It has been suggested that this is less pronounced for objective (ie, not subject to interpretation) outcome measures, including mortality. This may not apply in the intensive care unit (ICU), as most deaths are preceded by decisions to withhold or withdraw treatments. Lack of blinding of physicians in RCTs of ICU interventions may potentially influence the decision towards a higher threshold for discontinuing treatment in patients who receive the investigational treatment and/or a lower threshold for discontinuing treatment in patients who receive the comparator (control)...
July 11, 2017: BMJ Open
Suzana M Lobo, Flávio H B De Simoni, Stephan M Jakob, Angel Estella, Sonali Vadi, Andreas Bluethgen, Ignacio Martin-Loeches, Yasser Sakr, Jean-Louis Vincent
BACKGROUND: Many critically ill patients who die will do so after a decision has been made to withhold/withdraw life-sustaining therapy. The objective of this study was to document the characteristics of ICU patients with a decision to withhold/withdraw life-sustaining treatment, including the types of supportive treatments used, patterns of organ dysfunction, and international differences, including gross national income (GNI). METHODS: In this observational cohort study conducted in 730 ICUs in 84 countries, all adult patients admitted between May 8, 2012, and May 18, 2012 (except admissions for routine postoperative surveillance), were included...
August 2017: Chest
Prakash M Jeena, Miriam Adhikari
Intensive care facilities are always in demand in the public sector and there is constant competition for beds. Appropriate allocation of children to these resources is based on the ethical principles of distributive justice and beneficence that is determined on the presumed short-term outcome of the acute illness, long-term outcome of the underlying chronic disease and the overall demand for these facilities. At the onset of the HIV epidemic in South Africa, HIV-infected children were refused admission to the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) on the basis of poor ICU outcomes and the lack of provision of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) for survivors...
February 3, 2017: Paediatrics and International Child Health
John Myburgh, Fayez Abillama, Davide Chiumello, Geoff Dobb, Stephen Jacobe, Ruth Kleinpell, Younsuk Koh, Claudio Martin, Andej Michalsen, Paolo Pelosi, Lluis Blanch Torra, Jean-Louis Vincent, Susan Yeager, Janice Zimmerman
End-of-life care in the intensive care unit (ICU) was identified as an objective in a series of Task Forces developed by the World Federation of Societies of Intensive and Critical Care Medicine Council in 2014. The objective was to develop a generic statement about current knowledge and to identify challenges relevant to the global community that may inform regional and local initiatives. An updated summary of published statements on end-of-life care in the ICU from national Societies is presented, highlighting commonalities and differences within and between international regions...
August 2016: Journal of Critical Care
Jason Phua, Gavin M Joynt, Masaji Nishimura, Yiyun Deng, Sheila Nainan Myatra, Yiong Huak Chan, Nguyen Gia Binh, Cheng Cheng Tan, Mohammad Omar Faruq, Yaseen M Arabi, Bambang Wahjuprajitno, Shih-Feng Liu, Seyed Mohammad Reza Hashemian, Waqar Kashif, Dusit Staworn, Jose Emmanuel Palo, Younsuck Koh
PURPOSE: To compare the attitudes of physicians towards withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining treatments in intensive care units (ICUs) in low-middle-income Asian countries and regions with those in high-income ones, and to explore differences in the role of families and surrogates, legal risks, and financial considerations between these countries and regions. METHODS: Questionnaire study conducted in May-December 2012 on 847 physicians from 255 ICUs in 10 low-middle-income countries and regions according to the World Bank's classification, and 618 physicians from 211 ICUs in six high-income countries and regions...
July 2016: Intensive Care Medicine
Simon J W Oczkowski, Han-Oh Chung, Louise Hanvey, Lawrence Mbuagbaw, John J You
BACKGROUND: For many patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU), preferences for end-of-life care are unknown, and clinicians and substitute decision-makers are required to make decisions about the goals of care on their behalf. We conducted a systematic review to determine the effect of structured communication tools for end-of-life decision-making, compared to usual care, upon the number of documented goals of care discussions, documented code status, and decisions to withdraw life-sustaining treatments, in adult patients admitted to the ICU...
April 9, 2016: Critical Care: the Official Journal of the Critical Care Forum
Angelo Polito, Cristiana Garisto, Chiara Pezzella, Claudia Iacoella, Paola E Cogo
OBJECTIVE: To determine epidemiology and proximate causes of death in a pediatric cardiac ICU in Southern Europe. DESIGN: Retrospective chart review. SETTING: Single-center institution. PATIENTS: We concurrently identified 57 consecutive patients who died prior to discharge from the cardiac ICU. INTERVENTIONS: None. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Over the study period, there were 57 deaths for a combined mortality rate of 2...
May 2016: Pediatric Critical Care Medicine
Jennifer Needle, Angela R Smith
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the role of advance directives (AD) in end-of-life (EOL) care for adolescents and young adults (AYA) undergoing hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). OBJECTIVE: The study objective was to describe the frequency, type, and influence of AD on the use of life-sustaining treatment (LST) in AYA patients undergoing HSCT. METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of 96 patients aged 14-26 undergoing HSCT between April 2011 and January 2015 at the University of Minnesota...
March 2016: Journal of Palliative Medicine
Crystal E Brown, Ruth A Engelberg, Elizabeth L Nielsen, J Randall Curtis
RATIONALE: Palliative care has been focused largely on patients with cancer, and yet patients with chronic lung diseases also have high morbidity and mortality. The majority of deaths in intensive care units (ICUs) follow decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatments, suggesting that palliative care is critically important in this setting. OBJECTIVES: We explored differences in receipt of elements of palliative care among patients with interstitial lung disease (ILD) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who die in ICUs compared with patients with cancer...
May 2016: Annals of the American Thoracic Society
R García Caballero, B Herreros, D Real de Asúa, R Alonso, M M Barrera, V Castilla
INTRODUCTION: Many of the patients admitted to a general medical ward have a compromised quality of life, or short life expectancy, so they are potential candidates for withhold/withdraw (WH/WD) treatment. The first objectif was to describe which measures were WH/WD among patients who died during their admission in a general medical ward from a tertiary hospital in Madrid. Secondly, to define the clinical characteristics of this population. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study during 6 months from 2011 and 2012 of all the patients dead while their admission in the Internal Medicine Department...
March 2016: Revista de Calidad Asistencial: Organo de la Sociedad Española de Calidad Asistencial
Grace S Chung, John D Yoon, Kenneth A Rasinski, Farr A Curlin
Decisions to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment (LST) precede the majority of ICU deaths. Although professional guidelines generally treat the two as ethically equivalent, evidence suggests withdrawing LST is often more psychologically difficult than withholding it. The aim of the experiment was to investigate whether physicians are more supportive of withholding LST than withdrawing it and to assess how physicians' opinions are shaped by their religious characteristics, specialty, and experience caring for dying patients...
October 2016: Journal of Religion and Health
M Ratliff, J-O Neumann
BACKGROUND: If medicine is coming close to its limits conflicts sometimes occur. Most conflicts in the intensive care unit (ICU) involve the medical team and patients' relatives. In particular decisions about withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining therapy lead to conflicts. Decisions about limiting life-sustaining treatment are burdened by conflicts and put an enormous strain particularly on relatives. AIM: Illustration of currently available studies and existing recommendations on how to manage potentially conflict-laden decision-finding discussions on the ICU are presented...
October 2016: Medizinische Klinik, Intensivmedizin und Notfallmedizin
Liz Flannery, Lucie Michelle Ramjan, Kath Peters
BACKGROUND: End-of-life decision making in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), can be emotionally challenging and multifaceted. Doctors and nurses are sometimes placed in a precarious position where they are required to make decisions for patients who may be unable to participate in the decision-making process. There is an increasing frequency of the need for such decisions to be made in ICU, with studies reporting that most ICU deaths are heralded by a decision to withdraw or withhold life-sustaining treatment...
May 2016: Australian Critical Care: Official Journal of the Confederation of Australian Critical Care Nurses
Jennifer A Frontera, J Randall Curtis, Judith E Nelson, Margaret Campbell, Michelle Gabriel, Anne C Mosenthal, Colleen Mulkerin, Kathleen A Puntillo, Daniel E Ray, Rick Bassett, Renee D Boss, Dana R Lustbader, Karen J Brasel, Stefanie P Weiss, David E Weissman
OBJECTIVES: To describe unique features of neurocritical illness that are relevant to provision of high-quality palliative care; to discuss key prognostic aids and their limitations for neurocritical illnesses; to review challenges and strategies for establishing realistic goals of care for patients in the neuro-ICU; and to describe elements of best practice concerning symptom management, limitation of life support, and organ donation for the neurocritically ill. DATA SOURCES: A search of PubMed and MEDLINE was conducted from inception through January 2015 for all English-language articles using the term "palliative care," "supportive care," "end-of-life care," "withdrawal of life-sustaining therapy," "limitation of life support," "prognosis," or "goals of care" together with "neurocritical care," "neurointensive care," "neurological," "stroke," "subarachnoid hemorrhage," "intracerebral hemorrhage," or "brain injury...
September 2015: Critical Care Medicine
Alexandre Lautrette, Maïté Garrouste-Orgeas, Pierre-Marie Bertrand, Dany Goldgran-Toledano, Samir Jamali, Virginie Laurent, Laurent Argaud, Carole Schwebel, Bruno Mourvillier, Michaël Darmon, Stéphane Ruckly, Anne-Sylvie Dumenil, Virginie Lemiale, Bertrand Souweine, Jean-François Timsit
PURPOSE: To assess the prevalence of decisions to forgo life-sustaining treatment (DFLST), the patients characteristics, and to estimate the impact of DFLST stages on mortality. METHODS: Observational study of a prospective database between 2005 and 2012 from 13 ICUs. DFLST were defined as follows: no escalation of treatment (stage 1), not to start or escalate treatment even if such treatment is considered in the future; withholding (stage 2), not to start or escalate necessary treatment; withdrawal (stage 3), to stop necessary treatment...
October 2015: Intensive Care Medicine
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