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# Early Palliative Care Consultation in the Medical ICU : A Cluster Randomized Crossover Trial

Critical Care Medicine

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### Abstract

To assess the impact of early triggered palliative care consultation on the outcomes of high-risk ICU patients.

### Most cited references40

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• Abstract: found

### Use of intensive care at the end of life in the United States: an epidemiologic study.

(2004)
Despite concern over the appropriateness and quality of care provided in an intensive care unit (ICU) at the end of life, the number of Americans who receive ICU care at the end of life is unknown. We sought to describe the use of ICU care at the end of life in the United States using hospital discharge data from 1999 for six states and the National Death Index. Retrospective analysis of administrative data to calculate age-specific rates of hospitalization with and without ICU use at the end of life, to generate national estimates of end-of-life hospital and ICU use, and to characterize age-specific case mix of ICU decedents. All nonfederal hospitals in the states of Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and Washington. All inpatients in nonfederal hospitals in the six states in 1999. None. We found that there were 552,157 deaths in the six states in 1999, of which 38.3% occurred in hospital and 22.4% occurred after ICU admission. Using these data to project nationwide estimates, 540,000 people die after ICU admission each year. The age-specific rate of ICU use at the end of life was highest for infants (43%), ranged from 18% to 26% among older children and adults, and fell to 14% for those >85 yrs. Average length of stay and costs were 12.9 days and $24,541 for terminal ICU hospitalizations and 8.9 days and$8,548 for non-ICU terminal hospitalizations. One in five Americans die using ICU services. The doubling of persons over the age of 65 yrs by 2030 will require a system-wide expansion in ICU care for dying patients unless the healthcare system pursues rationing, more effective advanced care planning, and augmented capacity to care for dying patients in other settings.
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### Recommendations for end-of-life care in the intensive care unit: a consensus statement by the American College [corrected] of Critical Care Medicine.

(2008)
These recommendations have been developed to improve the care of intensive care unit (ICU) patients during the dying process. The recommendations build on those published in 2003 and highlight recent developments in the field from a U.S. perspective. They do not use an evidence grading system because most of the recommendations are based on ethical and legal principles that are not derived from empirically based evidence. Family-centered care, which emphasizes the importance of the social structure within which patients are embedded, has emerged as a comprehensive ideal for managing end-of-life care in the ICU. ICU clinicians should be competent in all aspects of this care, including the practical and ethical aspects of withdrawing different modalities of life-sustaining treatment and the use of sedatives, analgesics, and nonpharmacologic approaches to easing the suffering of the dying process. Several key ethical concepts play a foundational role in guiding end-of-life care, including the distinctions between withholding and withdrawing treatments, between actions of killing and allowing to die, and between consequences that are intended vs. those that are merely foreseen (the doctrine of double effect). Improved communication with the family has been shown to improve patient care and family outcomes. Other knowledge unique to end-of-life care includes principles for notifying families of a patient's death and compassionate approaches to discussing options for organ donation. End-of-life care continues even after the death of the patient, and ICUs should consider developing comprehensive bereavement programs to support both families and the needs of the clinical staff. Finally, a comprehensive agenda for improving end-of-life care in the ICU has been developed to guide research, quality improvement efforts, and educational curricula. End-of-life care is emerging as a comprehensive area of expertise in the ICU and demands the same high level of knowledge and competence as all other areas of ICU practice.
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### End-of-life discussions, goal attainment, and distress at the end of life: predictors and outcomes of receipt of care consistent with preferences.

(2010)
Physicians have an ethical obligation to honor patients' values for care, including at the end of life (EOL). We sought to evaluate factors that help patients to receive care consistent with their preferences. This was a longitudinal multi-institutional cohort study. We measured baseline preferences for life-extending versus symptom-directed care and actual EOL care received in 325 patients with advanced cancer. We also measured associated sociodemographic, health, and communication characteristics, including EOL discussions between patients and physicians. Preferences were assessed a median of 125 days before death. Overall, 68% of patients (220 of 325 patients) received EOL care consistent with baseline preferences. The proportion was slightly higher among patients who recognized they were terminally ill (74%, 90 of 121 patients; P = .05). Patients who recognized their terminal illness were more likely to prefer symptom-directed care (83%, 100 of 121 patients; v 66%, 127 of 191 patients; P = .003). However, some patients who were aware they were terminally ill wished to receive life-extending care (17%, 21 of 121 patients). Patients who reported having discussed their wishes for EOL care with a physician (39%, 125 of 322 patients) were more likely to receive care that was consistent with their preferences, both in the full sample (odds ratio [OR] = 2.26; P < .0001) and among patients who were aware they were terminally ill (OR = 3.94; P = .0005). Among patients who received no life-extending measures, physical distress was lower (mean score, 3.1 v 4.1; P = .03) among patients for whom such care was consistent with preferences. Patients with cancer are more likely to receive EOL care that is consistent with their preferences when they have had the opportunity to discuss their wishes for EOL care with a physician.
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### Author and article information

###### Journal
Critical Care Medicine
Critical Care Medicine
Ovid Technologies (Wolters Kluwer Health)
0090-3493
2019
December 2019
: 47
: 12
: 1707-1715
###### Article
10.1097/CCM.0000000000004016
6861688
31609772