Many critically ill patients with COVID-19 need specialty level palliative care to manage symptoms, conduct goals of care conversations, and facilitate medical decision making in ethically and emotionally charged situations. During the apex of the COVID-19 crisis in New York, the Adult Palliative Care Service at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (CUIMC)/NewYork-Presbyterian (NYP) received a 7-fold increase in consultation requests. This unprecedented increase in demand outpaced the palliative care team's ability to respond. We describe the rapid development and implementation of a scalable virtual consultation model staffed by out-of-state palliative care specialist volunteers.
Background: When left ventricular assist device (LVAD) therapy no longer is able to achieve patients' desired quality of life, withdrawal of LVAD therapy (WLVAD) may be requested.
Objectives: To evaluate factors associated with WLVAD, including the time taken before WLVAD.
Setting/Subjects: Sixty-two patients who newly underwent initial LVAD therapy during January 1, 2010 and October 30, 2018 and subsequently underwent WLVAD by December 31, 2018 were divided into those who participated in the decision of WLVAD (defined as PT+, n = 14), and those who could not participate in the decision because of the medical reasons (defined as PT-, n = 48).
easurements: Time to WLVAD in PT+ and PT- was defined as WD_PT+ (days between patients' request and WLVAD) and WD_PT- (days between when patients became unable to express themselves and WLVAD), respectively. Circumstances around WLVAD, including location of death and use of palliative care (PC), were reviewed.
Results: Mean age at WLVAD was 65.4 ± 10.1 years and 52 (83.9%) were men. Median days on LVAD support was 166.5 days (interquartile range = 838). The majority of WLVAD occurred in the intensive care unit (ICU) (83.6%) but less frequent in PT+ than in PT- (64.3% vs. 89.4%, p = 0.041). The median number of PC visits in the last month was higher in PT+ than in PT- (4.5 vs. 0.5, p = 0.005). The median WD_PT+ was 5.5 days and was significantly shorter in the ICU (1 day vs. 46 days, p = 0.013). The median WD_PT- was 5.5 days and tended to be shorter in the ICU (4 days vs. 13 days, p = 0.072). A multivariate analysis showed that male gender and ICU setting were both negatively associated with WD_PT- (p = 0.025 for men, p = 0.005 for ICU setting).
Conclusions: The majority of WLVAD occurred in the ICU and required PC involvement. Time to WLVAD was shorter in the ICU. Requests for WLVAD directly made by patients, especially in a non-ICU setting, seemed to have posed more difficulty.
Background: Little is known about palliative care consultation (PCC) for patients with cardiogenic shock requiring short-term mechanical circulatory support (STMCS).
Objective: To describe the utilization of PCC in this population.
Design: Retrospective cohort study in a university medical center intensive care unit (ICU).
Setting/Participants: In total, 195 patients aged >18 years with cardiogenic shock requiring STMCS were included. The cohort was divided into three categories: no PCC, early PCC (within seven days of STMCS), and late PCC (eight or more days after STMCS). Follow-up occurred during the index hospitalization.
Results: Mean age was 59.3 ± 13.9 years; 67.9% were men. Mean follow-up period was 33.8 ± 37.7 days. Overall inpatient mortality was 52.3%. Ninety-four patients (48.2%) received PCC; 49 (25.1%) and 45 (23.1%) received early and late PCCs, respectively. STMCS duration, ICU stay after STMCS, and hospital stay after STMCS were significantly shorter in the no PCC group than the early PCC group (4 vs. 12 days, p < 0.001; 11 vs. 19 days, p = 0.004; and 16 vs. 19 days, p = 0.031; respectively). ICU stay after STMCS and hospital stay after STMCS were significantly shorter in the early PCC group than the late PCC group (19 vs. 38 days, p < 0.001; 19 vs. 49 days, p < 0.001; respectively). However, time from initial PCC to discharge was not significantly different between early and late PCC groups (18 vs. 31 days, p = 0.13).
Conclusions: PCC was utilized in almost half of patients with cardiogenic shock requiring STMCS. PCC tends to occur toward the end of life regardless of the duration of STMCS. The optimal PCC timing remained unclear.
BACKGROUND: The difference of end-of-life care for left ventricular assist device (LVAD) patients, between destination therapy (DT) and bridge to transplant (BTT), and the effect of palliative care in this population remain unknown.
OBJECTIVE: The primary outcomes of this retrospective cohort study were the place of death, do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order, palliative care consultation in the last month, and hospice enrollment. Secondary outcomes were time on the LVAD, life-sustaining treatment in the last week of life, LVAD deactivation, and clinical trajectory.
SETTING/SUBJECTS: Eighty-nine patients who newly underwent LVAD therapy between 2010 and 2016 and died before May 2017 were divided into DT (59) and BTT (30).
RESULTS: At death, BTT patients (61.1 ± 8.9 years) were significantly younger (p = 0.046) than DT patients (65.8 ± 12.9 years). Median (25th–75th percentile) time on LVAD was significantly shorter (p = 0.042) in BTT (152 days, 41.3–375.8) than in DT (358 days, 64–892), but the Kaplan–Meier curves were not significantly different (p = 0.055). The place of death (p = 0.092), DNR order (DT; 70.2%, BTT; 76.7%, p = 0.52), palliative care consultation in the last month (DT; 57.1% and BTT; 41.6%, p = 0.22), and hospice enrollment (DT; 8.5%, BTT; 10.0%, p = 1.0), as well as any of secondary outcomes, were not significantly different between groups. After January 2014, palliative care consultation in the last month increased significantly from 14.2% to 78.9% (p < 0.001), and death in intensive care unit decreased significantly (from 79.4% to 52.8%, p = 0.024) with less frequent mechanical ventilation (from 71.4% to 50.0%, p = 0.047) and renal replacement therapy (42.9% to 19.2%, p = 0.017).
CONCLUSIONS: The clinical course of deceased LVAD patients, circumstances, and treatments at the end of life did not differ significantly between the BTT and DT groups. Palliative care consult seemed associated with less resource utilization. Palliative care team should get involved in the care of LVAD patients, not only for DT but also for BTT.
Les appareils d'assistance du ventricule gauche ont été conçus, à l'origine, pour permettre aux patients insuffisants cardiaques d'attendre une transplantation. Maintenant, ils sont aussi envisagés pour les patients non candidats à la greffe comme un traitement à long terme. A partir d'un cas clinique, les auteurs discutent des défis liés au consentement du patient, à la planification avancée des soins, à la qualité de vie et aux soins de fin de vie dans cette population de patients.