BACKGROUND: Pediatric patients with sarcomas experience significant morbidity and compromised quality of life throughout their course. These times could be viewed as opportunities for increased subspecialty palliative care (PC). Systematically defining opportunities for additional PC support has not occurred in pediatric oncology. The frequency, timing, and associated factors for palliative opportunities in pediatric patients with sarcomas are unknown.
METHODS: A priori, nine palliative opportunities were defined (disease progression or relapse, admission for symptoms, social concerns or end-of-life, intensive care or bone marrow transplant admission, phase 1 trial or hospice enrollment, do-not-resuscitate status). A single-center retrospective review was conducted on patients aged 0-18 years with bone/soft tissue sarcomas who died from January 1, 2012 to November 30, 2017. Demographic, disease, and treatment data were collected. Descriptive statistics were performed. Opportunities were evaluated over quartiles from diagnosis to death.
RESULTS: Patients (n = 60) had a mean of nine (SD = 4) palliative opportunities with the majority occurring in the last quartile of the disease course. Number and type of opportunities did not differ by demographics or diagnosis. Eighteen patients (30%) received PC consultation a median of 2.2 months (interquartile range [IQR] 11.5) prior to death. Consultation was unrelated to diagnosis or total opportunities.
CONCLUSIONS: Patients with sarcomas incur repeated events warranting subspecialty PC, which increase toward the end-of-life. Increased PC utilization may help decrease suffering and bolster family coping during these episodes. Additional work should further refine if opportunities differ across cancers, and how to incorporate this framework into clinical oncology care to prevent missed opportunities for PC.
Background: To investigate the use of do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders in patients hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) and the association with mortality.
Methods: We assembled a cohort of 1317 adults hospitalized with radiographically confirmed CAP in three Danish hospitals. Patients were grouped into no DNR order, early DNR order (=48 h after admission), and late DNR order (> 48 h after admission). We tested for associations between a DNR order and mortality using a cox proportional hazard model adjusted for patient and disease related factors.
Results: Among 1317 patients 177 (13%) patients received a DNR order: 107 (8%) early and 70 (5%) late, during admission. Patients with a DNR order were older (82 years vs. 70 years, p < 0.001), more frequently nursing home residents (41% vs. 6%, p < 0.001) and had more comorbidities (one or more comorbidities: 73% vs. 59%, p < 0.001). The 30-day mortality was 62% and 4% in patients with and without a DNR order, respectively. DNR orders were associated with increased risk of 30-day mortality after adjustment for age, nursing home residency and comorbidities. The association was modified by the CURB-65 score Hazard ratio (HR) 39.3 (95% CI 13.9–110.6), HR 24.0 (95% CI 11.9–48,3) and HR 9.4 (95% CI: 4.7–18.6) for CURB-65 score 0–1, 2 and 3–5, respectively.
Conclusion: In this representative Danish cohort, 13% of patients hospitalized with CAP received a DNR order. DNR orders were associated with higher mortality after adjustment for clinical risk factors. Thus, we encourage researcher to take DNR orders into account as potential confounder when reporting CAP associated mortality.
INTRODUCTION: Studies have suggested 5-20% of paediatric ICU patients may receive care felt to be futile. No data exists on the prevalence and impact of futile care in the Paediatric Cardiac ICU. The aim is to determine the prevalence and economic impact of futile care.
MATERIALS AND METHOD: Retrospective cohort of patients with congenital cardiac disease 0-21 years old, with length of stay >30 days and died (2015-2018). Documentation of futility by the medical team was retrospectively and independently reviewed.
RESULTS: Of the 127 deaths during the study period, 51 (40%) had hospitalisation >30 days, 13 (25%) had received futile care and 26 (51%) withdrew life-sustaining treatment. Futile care comprised 0.69% of total patient days with no difference in charges from patients not receiving futile care. There was no difference in insurance, single motherhood, education, income, poverty, or unemployment in families continuing futile care or electing withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment. Black families were less likely than White families to elect for withdrawal (p = 0.01), and Hispanic families were more likely to continue futile care than non-Hispanics (p = 0.044).
CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to examine the impact of futile care and characteristics in the paediatric cardiac ICU. Black families were less likely to elect for withdrawal, while Hispanic families more likely to continue futile care. Futile care comprised 0.69% of bed days and little burden on resources. Cultural factors should be investigated to better support families through end-of-life decisions.
Background: This retrospective cohort study aims to define the clinical findings and outcomes of every patient admitted to a district general hospital in Surrey with COVID-19 in March 2020, providing a snapshot of the first wave of infection in the UK. This study is the first detailed insight into the impact of frailty markers on patient outcomes and provides the infection rate among healthcare workers.
Methods: Data were obtained from medical records. Outcome measures were level of oxygen therapy, discharge and death. Patients were followed up until 21 April 2020.
Results: 108 patients were included. 34 (31%) died in hospital or were discharged for palliative care. 43% of patients aged over 65 died. The commonest comorbidities were hypertension (49; 45%) and diabetes (25; 23%). Patients who died were older (mean difference ±SEM, 13.76±3.12 years; p<0.0001) with a higher NEWS2 score (median 6, IQR 2.5–7.5 vs median 2, IQR 2–6) and worse renal function (median differences: urea 2.7 mmol/L, p<0.01; creatinine 4 µmol/L, p<0.05; eGFR 14 mL/min, p<0.05) on admission compared with survivors. Frailty markers were identified as risk factors for death. Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS) was higher in patients over 65 who died than in survivors (median 5, IQR 4–6 vs 3.5, IQR 2–5; p<0.01). Troponin and creatine kinase levels were higher in patients who died than in those who recovered (p<0.0001). Lymphopenia was common (median 0.8, IQR 0.6–1.2; p<0.005). Every patient with heart failure died (8). 26 (24%) were treated with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP; median 3 days, IQR 2–7.3) and 9 (8%) were intubated (median 14 days, IQR 7–21). All patients who died after discharge (4; 6%) were care home residents. 276 of 699 hospital staff tested were positive for COVID-19.
Conclusions: This study identifies older patients with frailty as being particularly vulnerable and reinforces government policy to protect this group at all costs.
Background: Nearly 3 million U.S. family caregivers support someone with cancer. However, oncology clinic-based service lines that proactively screen, assess, and support cancer caregivers are nearly nonexistent.
Objective: To examine first-year experiences of a nurse-led clinic-based telehealth support service (FamilyStrong) for family caregivers of patients with recently diagnosed grade IV brain tumors.
Methods: This is a retrospective evaluation of operational outcomes from initial implementation of the FamilyStrong Service, developed in partnership with Caregiver and Bereavement Support Services at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and the UAB Center for Palliative and Supportive Care. From August 2018 to December 2019, 53 family caregivers were proactively identified and enrolled by a palliative care nurse, working approximately one day/week, who performed monthly caregiver distress thermometer screenings by phone and provided emotional, educational, problem-solving, and referral support.
Results: Enrolled family caregivers were a mean age of 53.5 years and mostly female (62.3%), full- or part-time employed (67.9%), and the patient's spouse/partner (79.3%). Caregivers provided support 6.7 days/week for 11.2 hours/day. The palliative care nurse performed 235 distress screenings and provided support that included 68 documented instances of emotional, problem-solving, and educational support, 41 nurse-facilitated communications with the neuro-oncology team about patient issues, and 24 referrals to UAB and community services (e.g., counseling). The most common problems caregivers wanted assistance with included: managing their relative's health condition and symptoms (51%), coordinating care/services (21%), and planning for the future/advance care planning (17%).
Discussion: The FamilyStrong Program is among the first "real world" oncology clinic-based formal support services for advance cancer family caregivers.
OBJECTIVES: Family meetings (FMs) between clinicians, patients and family are recommended as a valuable communication and care planning method in the delivery of palliative care. However, there is a dearth of knowledge regarding FM characteristics, with few studies describing the prevalence, circumstances and content of FMs. The aims of this study were to: (1) measure the prevalence of FMs, (2) examine circumstance and timing of FMs, and (3) explore the content of FMs.
METHODS: A retrospective medical record audit was conducted of 200 patients who died in an Australian hospital of an expected death from advanced disease. Details of FMs were collected using an audit tool, along with patient demographics and admission data.
RESULTS: 33 patients (16.5%) had at least one FM during their inpatient stay. The majority of FMs occurred for patients admitted to an inpatient palliative care unit (59.5%) and were most commonly facilitated by doctors (81.0%). Patient attendance was frequent (40.5%). FM content fell into six categories: medical information, supportive communication behaviours of clinicians, psychosocial support for patients and families, end-of-life discussions, discharge planning and administrative arrangements.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite the benefits FMs confer, FMs appear to be infrequently used at the end of life. When FMs are used, there is a strong medical focus on both facilitation and content. Available FM documentation tools also appear to be underused. Clinicians are encouraged to have a greater understanding of FMs to optimise their use and adopt a proactive and structured approach to the conduct and documentation of FMs.
Introduction: Initiation of chemotherapy in patients with cancer near end-of-life (EOL) has become more frequent due to an increasing number of treatment options. We aimed to analyze the proportion of metastatic colorectal cancer patients (mCRC) in Alberta, Canada, who were started on a new chemotherapy regimen within 90 days of death.
Methods: This was a retrospective, population-based study using data from the cancer measurement outcomes and evaluation (C-MORE) database. All patients who received chemotherapy for mCRC in a large Canadian province from January 1, 2011, to December 31, 2016, were included in the current analysis. We identified the proportion of patients who initiated chemotherapy near EOL. Further, we analyzed the associations of baseline factors with initiation of chemotherapy near EOL.
Results: We identified 511 patients with mCRC who received chemotherapy. Of these, 132 (25.8%) initiated chemotherapy near EOL. Charlson’s comorbidity index (CCI) score (score 1: OR, 0.524; 95% CI, 0.279–0.985; P = 0.045; CCI score > 1: OR, 0.366; 95% CI, 0.180–0.746; P = 0.006) and Eastern cooperative oncology group performance status (ECOG PS) (ECOG PS 2: OR, 4.457; 95% CI 2.518–7.890; P < 0.0001; ECOG PS > 2: OR 7.725; 95% CI 3.465–17.222; P < 0.0001) were predictive of initiation of chemotherapy near EOL. The most frequent chemotherapy regimens initiated were FOLFIRI (17%), capecitabine (15%), and panitumumab (15%), respectively.
Conclusions: Chemotherapy is frequently initiated near EOL in patients with mCRC. Routine clinical assessments including ECOG PS and comorbid medical conditions can help select patients with mCRC who are unlikely to benefit from palliative chemotherapy and prevent the adverse events and healthcare costs associated with such interventions near EOL.
Objectives: Geriatric palliative care approaches support deprescribing of antihypertensives in older nursing home (NH) residents with limited life expectancy and/or advanced dementia (LLE/AD) who are intensely treated for hypertension (HTN), but information on real-world deprescribing patterns in this population is limited. We examined the incidence and factors associated with antihypertensive deprescribing.
Design: National, retrospective cohort study.
Setting and Participants: Older Veterans with LLE/AD and HTN admitted to VA NHs in fiscal years 2009-2015 with potential overtreatment of HTN at admission, defined as receiving at least 1 antihypertensive class of medications and mean daily systolic blood pressure (SBP) <120 mm Hg.
Measures: Deprescribing was defined as subsequent dose reduction or discontinuation of an antihypertensive for =7 days. Competing risk models assessed cumulative incidence and factors associated with deprescribing.
Results: Within our sample (n = 10,574), cumulative incidence of deprescribing at 30 days was 41%. Veterans with the greatest level of overtreatment (ie, multiple antihypertensives and SBP <100 mm Hg) had an increased likelihood (hazard ratio 1.75, 95% confidence interval 1.59, 1.93) of deprescribing vs those with the lowest level of overtreatment (ie, one antihypertensive and SBP =100 to <120 mm Hg). Several markers of poor prognosis (ie, recent weight loss, poor appetite, dehydration, dependence for activities of daily living, pain) and later admission year were associated with increased likelihood of deprescribing, whereas cardiovascular risk factors (ie, diabetes, congestive heart failure, obesity), shortness of breath, and admission source from another NH or home/assisted living setting (vs acute hospital) were associated with decreased likelihood.
Conclusions and Implications: Real-world deprescribing patterns of antihypertensives among NH residents with HTN and LLE/AD appear to reflect variation in recommendations for HTN treatment intensity and individualization of patient care in a population with potential overtreatment. Factors facilitating deprescribing included treatment intensity and markers of poor prognosis. Comparative effectiveness and safety studies are needed to guide clinical decisions around deprescribing and HTN management.
Aims of the study: Blood coagulation parameters are colossally important for clinical evaluation of palliative chemotherapy; however, this niche was not explored earlier for advanced-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Study focuses to explore the clinical relevancy of Coagulation parameters; prothrombin time (PT), activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT), thrombin time (TT), fibrinogen (FIB), D-dimer and international normalised ratio (INR) and their response to palliative chemotherapy in advanced-stage NSCLC.
Methods: A retrospective study was conducted between 2013 and 2019 in Jiangsu Cancer hospital, Nanjing, PR. China. Medical records of 5445 patients were succinctly reviewed and classified accordingly to the inclusion and exclusion criteria. A total of 216 advanced NSCLC patients who used a first-line chemotherapy and antiangiogenic therapy regimen were enrolled in this study under ethical approval (JSCH-2020C-009). Blood samples were collected from these patients to measure the response levels of these coagulation parameters at time of admission to hospital and at the beginning of 4 cycles of Palliative therapy. We find the clinical value of all these coagulation parameters by using SPSS 24. Univariate Cox regression and Multivariate Cox regression models were used to identify the factors that were associated with progression-free survival (PFS) and the response to palliative chemotherapy.
Results: In the Kaplan-Meier survival analysis for overall median (95% CI) survival of high pre-treatment coagulation parameters showed shorter PFS compared with normal pre-treatment except TT and their overall median (95% CI) follow-up was 3.3 (3.12-3.47). Coagulation parameters have showed clinical relevance as a potential independent prognostic factor of PFS in the Univariate Cox regression. In multivariable model, Age (=60 years vs < 60 years), cancer differentiation (Unknown vs Poor), PT (High vs Normal) range, FIB (High vs Normal) range and D-dimer (High vs Normal) range, (P = .025, P = .045, P = .029, P = .049 and P = .011, respectively) were associated as a prognostic factor of PFS in NSCLC. Patients on 3-drugs regimen found to have better PFS compared with the ones taking the 2-drugs treatment regimen (P = .043).
Conclusion: The high range of PT, FIB and D-dimers was associated with poor prognosis of advanced-stage NSCLC. Our findings also confirmed that patients on 3-drugs regimen showed longer PFS compared with 2-drugs regimen.
Evidence to support the use of antipsychotic medications for the management of delirium symptoms remains limited. The primary objective of this study was to compare the effect of antipsychotic and non-antipsychotic treatments for delirium symptoms among palliative care inpatients. Secondary outcomes were use of midazolam and overall survival. This involved retrospective analysis of medical records (November 2018 to April 2019) for adult palliative care patients diagnosed with delirium at an Australian tertiary hospital. NuDESC was used to assess symptoms daily from baseline to Day 3. All 65 patients (mean age 73.5 ± 13.7 years, 48% female, 59% with cancer) included received standard care which included management of underlying causes of delirium symptoms, of which 17 received additional treatment using antipsychotic medications. Forty-eight did not receive any antipsychotic medication. An absolute reduction in NuDESC score was observed in the group that did not receive additional treatment using antipsychotics (by 1.37 units, 95% CI 0.79–1.95, p < 0.0001). A significantly higher proportion of midazolam use (n = 9, 53% versus n = 2, 4%, p < 0.001) and shorter median survival (13 days versus 26 days, p = 0.03) was observed in the group of patients that received antipsychotics. The use of antipsychotic medications in addition to standard treatments targeting underlying precipitants did not lead to a significant improvement in delirium symptoms and was associated with a greater midazolam use and lower median duration of survival. Individualized treatment of underlying causes still appears to be essential in the management of delirium in patients receiving palliative care.
Background: Homeless people experience multiple health problems and early mortality. In the Netherlands, they can get shelter-based end-of-life care, but shelters are predominantly focused on temporary accommodation and recovery.
Aim: To examine the characteristics of homeless people who reside at the end-of-life in shelter-based nursing care settings and the challenges in the end-of-life care provided to them.
Design: A retrospective record study using both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods.
Setting/participants: Two Dutch shelter-based nursing care settings. We included 61 homeless patients who died between 2009 and 2016.
Results: Most patients had somatic (98%), psychiatric (84%) and addiction problems (90%). For 75% of the patients, the end of life was recognised and documented; this occurred 0–1253 days before death. For 26%, a palliative care team was consulted in the year before death. In the three months before death, 45% had at least three transitions, mainly to hospitals. Sixty-five percent of the patients died in the shelter, 27% in a hospital and 3% in a hospice. A quarter of all patients were known to have died alone. Documented care difficulties concerned continuity of care, social and environmental safety, patient–professional communication and medical-pharmacological alleviation of suffering.
Conclusions: End-of-life care for homeless persons residing in shelter-based nursing care settings is characterised and challenged by comorbidities, uncertain prognoses, complicated social circumstances and many transitions to other settings. Multilevel end-of-life care improvements, including increased interdisciplinary collaboration, are needed to reduce transitions and suffering of this vulnerable population at the end of life.
Background: For patients with metastatic cancer, treatment with palliative chemotherapy can lead to more aggressive end-of-life (EOL) care. This retrospective study aimed to assess the time from the last
chemotherapy treatment to death and investigate the variables associated with the delivery of palliative chemotherapy near the end of life.
Methods: Data from patients who died from metastatic cancer after receiving palliative chemotherapy from April 2007 to June 2019 at the Department of Integrated Therapy of Fudan University, Shanghai Cancer
Center were analyzed. Statistical analysis was performed to evaluate variables including the patient’s age,Charlson comorbidities, caregivers, and the type of cancer.
Results: A total of 605 patients were included in the analysis, of whom 335 (58.7%) were treated with palliative chemotherapy during their last year of life and 16.2% were treated in their last month of life. Treatment with palliative chemotherapy in the last month was independently associated with age (P<0.001). In the last year of life, treatment with palliative chemotherapy differed significantly according to caregivers
and age (P<0.001). The interval between the last chemotherapy treatment and death was the shortest for patients whose caregivers were adult children or those aged =50 years.
Conclusions: In this study, palliative chemotherapy was used to treat 58.7% of patients in their last year, and 16.2% of patients in their last month, which is in line with international recommendations. In the last
month, palliative chemotherapy was independently associated with age (P<0.001), whereas patients were more likely to receive palliative chemotherapy in their last year if their caregivers were adult children or if
they were aged =50 years. Significant variations in EOL treatment strategies were observed according to caregivers and patient age during the last year of life.
BACKGROUND: Palliative care services face challenges in adapting and responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding how palliative care needs and outcomes have changed during the pandemic compared to before the pandemic is crucial to inform service planning and research initiatives.
AIM: To evaluate the impact of COVID-19 on symptoms, clinical characteristics, and outcomes for patients referred to a hospital-based palliative care service in a district general hospital in London, UK.
DESIGN: A retrospective service evaluation. Data were extracted from the electronic patient records.
SETTING/PARTICIPANTS: The first 60 inpatients with confirmed COVID-19 infection, referred to the hospital palliative care service between 1 March 2020 and 23 April 2020, and another 60 inpatients, referred to the hospital palliative care service between 11 March 2019 and 23 April 2019, were included from a district general hospital in East London, UK.
RESULTS: Patients with COVID-19 have lower comorbidity scores, poorer performance status, and a shorter time from referral to death compared to patients without COVID-19. Breathlessness, drowsiness, agitation, and fever are the most prevalent symptoms during COVID-19 compared to pain and drowsiness pre-COVID-19. Time from admission to referral to palliative care is longer for Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients, especially during COVID-19.
CONCLUSION: Early referral to palliative care is essential in COVID-19, especially for Black, Asian and minority ethnic groups. There is urgent need to research why Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients are referred late; how palliative care services have changed; and possible solutions to setting up responsive, flexible, and integrated services.
BACKGROUND: The mortality rate of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) patients with respiratory failure remains high. This study aimed to identify factors contributing to death in these patients, and develop a mortality prediction model for pulmonary TB patients with respiratory failure.
METHODS: A retrospective study of patients admitted consecutively to the medical ICU of Beijing Chest Hospital, (Beijing, China), Chaoyang Fourth Hospital (Liaoning, China) and Hebi Third People's Hospital (Henan, China) from May 2018 to May 2019 was conducted. 153 patients with pulmonary TB accompanied by respiratory failure were enrolled. A multivariate analysis was performed to identify risk factors for death. A predictive fatality score was determined. The utility of the score for predicting death was evaluated using receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis.
RESULTS: The patients' median age was 57.82±19.42 years (17.0-87.0 years) and there were 106 males (69.28%). The mortality rate was 39.22% (60 of 153). Independent predictive factors of mortality included the PaO2 (hazard ratio 0.928, 95% CI: 0.882 - 0.976, P=0.004), Albumin (hazard ratio 0.881, 95% CI: 0.792- 0.980, P=0.019), Apache II score (hazard ratio 1.120, 95% CI: 1.017-1.234, P=0.022) and C-reactive protein (hazard ratio 1.012, 95% CI: 1.004-1.019, P=0.003). Establishing a logistic model of the death risk grade of pulmonary TB with respiratory failure was Y=1.710 - 0.068*PaO2-0.163* albumin + 0.215* Apache II +0.012* C-reactive protein. The value was Y=-0.494. If the Y value was greater than or equal to -0.494, the patients belonged to the deceased group, and if less than -0.494 the patients belonged to the survival group. AUC=0.818, The sensitivity was 83.3%; specificity was 73.1%.
CONCLUSIONS: Pulmonary TB patients with respiratory failure have a high mortality rate and poor prognosis, particularly those with high Apache II scores, high C-reactive protein levels, low PaO2 admission to ICU and low albumin level. The prediction model will help assess the risk of death in patients with TB and respiratory failure.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders in the first 24 hours after intracerebral hemorrhage have been associated with an increased risk of early death. This relationship is less certain for ischemic stroke. We assessed the relation between treatment restrictions and mortality in patients with ischemic stroke and in patients with intracerebral hemorrhage. We focused on the timing of treatment restrictions after admission and the type of treatment restriction (DNR order versus more restrictive care).
METHODS: We retrospectively assessed demographic and clinical data, timing and type of treatment restrictions, and vital status at 3 months for 622 consecutive stroke patients primarily admitted to a Dutch university hospital. We used a Cox regression model, with adjustment for age, sex, comorbidities, and stroke type and severity.
RESULTS: Treatment restrictions were installed in 226 (36%) patients, more frequently after intracerebral hemorrhage (51%) than after ischemic stroke (32%). In 187 patients (83%), these were installed in the first 24 hours. Treatment restrictions installed within the first 24 hours after hospital admission and those installed later were independently associated with death at 90 days (adjusted hazard ratios, 5.41 [95% CI, 3.17-9.22] and 5.36 [95% CI, 2.20-13.05], respectively). Statistically significant associations were also found in patients with ischemic stroke and in patients with just an early DNR order. In those who died, the median time between a DNR order and death was 520 hours (interquartile range, 53-737).
CONCLUSIONS: The strong relation between treatment restrictions (including DNR orders) and death and the long median time between a DNR order and death suggest that this relation may, in part, be causal, possibly due to an overall lack of aggressive care.
Background: Withdrawal from renal replacement therapy is common in patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), but end-of-life service planning is challenging without population-specific data. We aimed to describe mortality after treatment withdrawal in Australian and New Zealand ESKD patients and evaluate death-certified causes of death.
Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study on incident patients with ESKD in Australia, 1980–2013, and New Zealand, 1988–2012, from the Australian and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant registry. We estimated mortality rates (by age, sex, calendar year and country) and summarized withdrawal-related deaths within 12 months of treatment modality change. Certified causes of death were ascertained from data linkage with the Australian National Death Index and New Zealand Mortality Collection database.
Results: Of 60 823 patients with ESKD, there were 8111 treatment withdrawal deaths and 26 207 other deaths over 381 874 person-years. Withdrawal-related mortality rates were higher in females and older age groups. Rates increased between 1995 and 2013, from 1142 (95% confidence interval 1064–1226) to 2706/100 000 person-years (95% confidence interval 2498–2932), with the greatest increase in 1995–2006. A third of withdrawal deaths occurred within 12 months of treatment modality change. The national death registers reported kidney failure as the underlying cause of death in 20% of withdrawal cases, with other causes including diabetes (21%) and hypertensive disease (7%). Kidney disease was not mentioned for 18% of withdrawal patients.
Conclusions: Treatment withdrawal represents 24% of ESKD deaths and has more than doubled in rate since 1988. Population data may supplement, but not replace, clinical data for end-of-life kidney-related service planning.
Importance: The option of donating organs after euthanasia is not well known. Assessment of the results of organ transplants with grafts donated after euthanasia is essential to justify the use of this type of organ donation.
Objectives: To assess the outcomes of liver transplants (LTs) with grafts donated after euthanasia (donation after circulatory death type V [DCD-V]), and to compare them with the results of the more commonly performed LTs with grafts from donors with a circulatory arrest after the withdrawal of life-supporting treatment (type III [DCD-III]).
Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective multicenter cohort study analyzed medical records and LT data for most transplant centers in the Netherlands and Belgium. All LTs with DCD-V grafts performed from the start of the donation after euthanasia program (September 2012 for the Netherlands, and January 2005 for Belgium) through July 1, 2018, were included in the analysis. A comparative cohort of patients who received DCD-III grafts was also analyzed. All patients in both cohorts were followed up for at least 1 year. Data analysis was performed from September 2019 to December 2019.
Exposures: Liver transplant with either a DCD-V graft or DCD-III graft.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Primary outcomes were recipient and graft survival rates at years 1, 3, and 5 after the LT. Secondary outcomes included postoperative complications (early allograft dysfunction, hepatic artery thrombosis, and nonanastomotic biliary strictures) within the first year after the LT.
Results: Among the cohort of 47 LTs with DCD-V grafts, 25 organ donors (53%) were women and the median (interquartile range [IQR]) age was 51 (44-59) years. Among the cohort of 542 LTs with DCD-III grafts, 335 organ donors (62%) were men and the median (IQR) age was 49 (37-57) years. Median (IQR) follow-up was 3.8 (2.1-6.3) years. In the DCD-V cohort, 30 recipients (64%) were men, and the median (IQR) age was 56 (48-64) years. Recipient survival in the DCD-V cohort was 87% at 1 year, 73% at 3 years, and 66% at 5 years after LT. Graft survival among recipients was 74% at 1 year, 61% at 3 years, and 57% at 5 years after LT. These survival rates did not differ statistically significantly from those in the DCD-III cohort. Incidence of postoperative complications did not differ between the groups. For example, the occurrence of early allograft dysfunction after the LT was found to be 13 (31%) in the DCD-V cohort and 219 (45%) in the DCD-III cohort. The occurrence of nonanastomotic biliary strictures after the LT was found to be 7 (15%) in the DCD-V cohort and 83 (15%) in the DCD-III cohort.
Conclusions and Relevance: The findings of this cohort study suggest that LTs with DCD-V grafts yield similar outcomes as LTs with DCD-III grafts; therefore, grafts donated after euthanasia may be a justifiable option for increasing the organ donor pool. However, grafts from these donations should be considered high-risk grafts that require an optimal donor selection process and logistics.
Context: An important aspect of end-of-life care, place of death is understudied in advanced chronic (CKD) and end-stage kidney disease (ESKD).
Objective: We sought to examine trends and factors associated with where advanced CKD/ESKD patients die.
Methods: We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study using mortality data from 2003 to 2017 for deaths attributed primarily to advanced CKD/ESKD in the United States.
Results: Between 2003 and 2017, 222,247 deaths were attributed to advanced CKD/ESKD. From 2003 to 2017, deaths occurring in hospitals declined from 56.0% (n = 5356) to 35.6% (n = 7764), whereas increases occurred in deaths at home (13.5% [n = 1292] to 24.3% [n = 5306]), nursing facilities (18.6% [n = 1776] to 19.3% [n = 4221]), and hospice facilities (0.3% [n = 29] to 13.4% [n = 2917]). Nonwhite race was associated with increased odds of hospital death (Black [OR = 1.59; 95% CI = 1.55, 1.62]; Native American [OR = 1.47; 95% CI = 1.32, 1.63]; Asian [OR = 1.43; 95% CI = 1.32, 1.55] and reduced odds of nursing facility (Black [OR = 0.622; 95% CI = 0.600, 0.645]; Native American [OR = 0.638; 95% CI = 0.572, 0.712]; Asian [OR = 0.574; 95% CI = 0.533, 0.619], or hospice facility death (Black [OR = 0.843; 95% CI = 0.773, 0.918]; Native American [OR = 0.380; 95% CI = 0.289, 0.500]; Asian [OR = 0.609; 95% CI = 0.502, 0.739]). Older age was associated with reduced odds of hospital death (=85 [OR = 0.334; 95% CI = 0.312, 0.358]) and increased odds of home (=85 [OR = 1.55; 95% CI = 1.43, 1.68]), nursing facility (=85 [OR = 3.09; 95% CI = 2.76, 3.45]) or hospice facility death (=85 [OR = 1.60; 95% CI = 1.49, 1.72]).
Conclusions: Hospitals remain the most common place of death from advanced CKD/ESKD; however, the proportion of home, nursing facility, and hospice facility deaths have increased.
Background: Home death is considered to be a marker of good death. Little is known about the place of death and its determinants in patients with cancer in Jordan.
Methods: A retrospective analysis of regularly collected data of cancer patients who had a palliative care consultation at King Hussein Cancer Center and died between 2011 and 2012. Variables analyzed were related to the patient, disease, and palliative care services. Patient-related factors included age at death, gender, place of residence, and code status; disease-related variables were cancer type (solid vs hematological), major primary site, and time from cancer diagnosis to death; palliative care service–related variables included time of consultation for palliative care services to death, location of first palliative encounter (outpatient clinic vs hospital floor), multidisciplinary palliative home care teams involvement, and the number of home care visits before death. We examined the association between each variable and place of death using Pearson’s chi-square and the Mann-Whitney tests. Factors with statistical significance of P value < 0.1 were entered into multivariate logistic regression model.
Results: Among 630 patients, 80 (12.7%) died at home. Univariate analysis showed the following to be significantly associated with dying at home: male gender, age more than 65 years old, earlier palliative care involvement, and involvement of home care services (P value < 0.05). Independent predictors for dying at home were male gender, age more than 65 years old, and involvement of home care services.
Conclusions: Hospital death is more prevalent than home death in cancer patients in Jordan. Involvement of home care services can help achieve the goal of dying at home.
Background: This study examined the experience of withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment in patients hospitalized in the intensive care units (ICUs) of a tertiary care center. It also considers the role that intensivists play in the decision-making process regarding the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 227 patients who decided to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment while hospitalized at Ewha Womans University Medical Center Mokdong between April 9 and December 31, 2018.
Results: The 227 hospitalized patients included in the analysis withheld or withdrew from life-sustaining treatment. The department in which life-sustaining treatment was withheld or withdrawn most frequently was oncology (26.4%). Among these patients, the most common diagnosis was gastrointestinal tract cancer (29.1%). A majority of patients (64.3%) chose not to receive any life-sustaining treatment. Of the 80 patients in the ICU, intensivists participated in the decision to withhold or withdraw life-sustaining treatment in 34 cases. There were higher proportions of treatment withdrawal and ICU-to-ward transfers among the cases in whom intensivists participated in decision making compared to those cases in whom intensivists did not participate (55.9% vs. 4.3% and 52.9% vs. 19.6%, respectively).
Conclusion: Through their participation in end-of-life discussions, intensivists can help patients' families to make decisions about withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment and possibly avoiding futile treatments for these patients.