OBJECTIVE: Irish legislation on Advance Healthcare Directives (Assisted Decision Making Capacity Act 2015, ADMC) proposes to change the basis of decision making from acting in the patient's best interests to following the expressed will and intentions of the patient. Refusal of life-saving care can occur, without sound reasons. The implications for care in life-threatening emergencies have not been explored among clinicians.
DESIGN: An anonymous questionnaire survey of Advanced Paramedics (AP) covering awareness of the legislation, attitudes to and experience of refusal of care and potential actions in emergency scenarios now and if the legislation were in force. The scenarios covered end-of-life and deliberate self-harm situations potentially requiring resuscitation.
SETTING: All 482 graduates of the Advanced Paramedic Training Programme were invited to take part.
RESULTS: Overall, 85/389 (21.9%) valid contacts responded, with demographic characteristics similar to the overall population. Attitudes ranged from highly positive to highly negative in relation to the potential impact of the legislation on professional and operational responsibilities. Respondents described marked changes in whether they would offer resuscitation if the ADMC were in place.
CONCLUSION: Irish legislation which changes the traditional basis of medical practice away from the best interests of the patient may affect the resuscitation practices of Advanced Paramedics in life-threatening situations. It has significant implications for medical education, professional practice and clinician-patient interactions. This legislation and similar planned legislation may have implications for other EU jurisdictions.
Entrer dans un service de réanimation pédiatrique, c'est aller "dedans". Là-bas, on est dedans ou dehors, pas de nuance, pas d'entre-deux... a priori. De l'extérieur, les événements peuvent paraître tranchés, les décisions assurées. On parle en termes de réussite oou d'échec, de vie ou de mort.
Background: The ethical principle of justice demands that resources be distributed equally and based on evidence. Guidelines regarding forgoing of CPR are unavailable and there is large variance in the reported rates of attempted CPR in in-hospital cardiac arrest. The main objective of this work was to study whether local culture and physician preferences may affect spur-of-the-moment decisions in unexpected in-hospital cardiac arrest.
Methods: Cross sectional questionnaire survey conducted among a convenience sample of physicians that likely comprise code team members in their country (Indonesia, Israel and Mexico). The questionnaire included details regarding respondent demographics and training, personal value judgments and preferences as well as professional experience regarding CPR and forgoing of resuscitation.
Results: Of the 675 questionnaires distributed, 617 (91.4%) were completed and returned. Country of practice and level of knowledge about resuscitation were strongly associated with avoiding CPR performance. Mexican physicians were almost twicemore likely to forgo CPR than their Israeli and Indonesian/Malaysian counterparts [OR1.84 (95% CI 1.03, 3.26), p = 0.038]. Mexican responders also placed greater emphasison personal and patient quality of life (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, degree of religiosity was most strongly associated with willingness to forgo CPR; orthodox respondents were more than twice more likely to report having forgone CPR for apatient they do not know than secular and observant respondents, regardless of the country of practice [OR 2.12 (95%CI 1.30, 3.46), p = 0.003].
Conclusions: In unexpected in-hospital cardiac arrest the decision to perform or withhold CPR may be affected by physician knowledge and local culture as well as personal preferences. Physician CPR training should include information regarding predictors of patient outcome at as well as emphasis on differentiating between patient and personal preferences in an emergency.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the prevalence of clinician perception of inappropriate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) regarding the last out--of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) encountered in an adult 80 years or older and its relationship to patient outcome.
DESIGN: Subanalysis of an international multicenter cross-sectional survey (REAPPROPRIATE).
SETTING: Out-of-hospital CPR attempts registered in Europe, Israel, Japan, and the United States in adults 80 years or older.
PARTICIPANTS: A total of 611 clinicians of whom 176 (28.8%) were doctors, 123 (20.1%) were nurses, and 312 (51.1%) were emergency medical technicians/paramedics.
RESULTS AND MEASUREMENTS: The last CPR attempt among patients 80 years or older was perceived as appropriate by 320 (52.4%) of the clinicians; 178 (29.1%) were uncertain about the appropriateness, and 113 (18.5%) perceived the CPR attempt as inappropriate. The survival to hospital discharge for the “appropriate” subgroup was 8 of 265 (3.0%), 1 of 164 (.6%) in the “uncertain” subgroup, and 2 of 107 (1.9%) in the “inappropriate” subgroup (P = .23); 503 of 564 (89.2%) CPR attempts involved non-shockable rhythms.
CPR attempts in nursing homes accounted for 124 of 590 (21.0%) of the patients and were perceived as appropriate by 44 (35.5%) of the clinicians; 45 (36.3%) were uncertain about the appropriateness; and 35 (28.2%) perceived the CPR attempt as inappropriate. The survival to hospital discharge for the nursing home patients was 0 of 107 (0%); 104 of 111 (93.7%) CPR attempts involved non-shockable rhythms.
verall, 36 of 543 (6.6%) CPR attempts were undertaken despite a known written do not attempt resuscitation decision; 14 of 36 (38.9%) clinicians considered this appropriate, 9 of 36 (25.0%) were uncertain about its appropriateness, and 13 of 36 (36.1%) considered this inappropriate.
CONCLUSION: Our findings show that despite generally poor outcomes for older patients undergoing CPR, many emergency clinicians do not consider these attempts at resuscitation to be inappropriate. A professional and societal debate is urgently needed to ensure that first we do not harm older patients by futile CPR attempts.
BACKGROUND: Racial and ethnic minorities are at risk for disparities in quality of care after out-of-hospital cardiopulmonary arrest (OHCA). As such, we examined associations between race and ethnicity and use of guideline-recommended and life-sustaining procedures during hospitalizations for OHCA.
METHODS: This was a retrospective study of hospitalizations for OHCA in all acute-care, non-federal California hospitals from 2009 to 2011. Associations between the use of (1) guideline-recommended procedures (cardiac catheterization for ventricular fibrillation/tachycardia, therapeutic hypothermia), (2) life-sustaining procedures (percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG)/tracheostomy, renal replacement therapy (RRT)), and (3) palliative care and race/ethnicity were examined using hierarchical logistic regression analysis.
RESULTS: Among 51,198 hospitalizations for OHCA, unadjusted rates of cardiac catheterization were 34.9% in Whites, 19.8% in Blacks, 27.2% in Hispanics, and 30.9% in Asians (P < 0.01). Rates of therapeutic hypothermia were 2.3% in Whites, 1.1% in Blacks, 1.3% in Hispanics, and 1.9% in Asians (P < 0.01). Rates of PEG/tracheostomy and RRT were 2.2% and 9.8% in Whites, 5.7% and 19.9% in Blacks, 4.2% and 19.9% in Hispanics, and 3.4% and 18.2% in Asians, respectively (P < 0.01). Rates of palliative care were 14.8% in Whites, 9.6% in Blacks, 10.1% in Hispanics, and 14.3% in Asians (P < 0.01). Differences in utilization of procedures persisted after adjustment for patient and hospital-related factors.
CONCLUSION: Racial and ethnic minorities are less likely to receive guideline-recommended interventions and palliative care, and more likely to receive life-sustaining treatments following OHCA. These findings suggest that significant disparities exist in medical care after OHCA.
OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of intercenter variation and patient factors on end-of-life care practices for infants who die in regional neonatal intensive care units (NICUs).
STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a retrospective cohort analysis using the Children's Hospital Neonatal Database during 2010-2016. A total of 6299 nonsurviving infants cared for in 32 participating regional NICUs were included to examine intercenter variation and the effects of gestational age, race, and cause of death on 3 end-of-life care practices: do not attempt resuscitation orders (DNR), cardiopulmonary resuscitation within 6 hours of death (CPR), and withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies (WLST). Factors associated with these practices were used to develop a multivariable equation.
RESULTS: Dying infants in the cohort underwent DNR (55%), CPR (21%), and WLST (73%). Gestational age, cause of death, and race were significantly and differently associated with each practice: younger gestational age (<28 weeks) was associated with CPR (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.5-2.1) but not with DNR or WLST, and central nervous system injury was associated with DNR (1.6, 1.3-1.9) and WLST (4.8, 3.7-6.2). Black race was associated with decreased odds of WLST (0.7, 0.6-0.8). Between centers, practices varied widely at different gestational ages, race, and causes of death.
CONCLUSIONS: From the available data on end-of-life care practices for regional NICU patients, variability appears to be either individualized or without consistency.
Background: Little is known about how certain educational interventions may improve informed code status discussions by physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner students.
Methods: This is a prospective, prospective, single academic center pilot study utilizing a short case-based PowerPoint that reviewed the differences between code status choices and the likelihood of survival to hospital discharge of attempted resuscitation after a cardiac arrest. Training occurred between September 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018. The study population included PA and adult gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AGACNP) students during their inpatient internal medicine rotation (n = 9) and preclinical PA students (n = 5).
Results: After training, there was a significant increase in knowledge in the likelihood of survival to hospital discharge (P = .01) and comfort level in having an informed code status discussion (3.36 ± 0.81 vs 4.10 ± 0.80, P = .02). For questions related to identification of the correct code status, there were no significant differences before and after the intervention.
Conclusion: A short case-based PowerPoint viewed by PA and AGACNP students increased the knowledge about the likelihood of survival to hospital discharge of attempted resuscitation after a cardiac arrest and increased the comfort level of having code status discussions with patients by PA and AGACNP students.
La loi Claeys-Leonetti a trois ans. Elle consacre la sédation profonde et continue jusqu’au décès dans certaines circonstances, elle rend contraignantes les directives anticipées pour le corps médical, et elle établit un vrai contrat de confiance entre le patient et sa personne de confiance. Dans un contexte de méconnaissance de cette loi, un sentiment de « mal mourir » persiste. Notamment, le choix d’un terme de pronostic vital engagé à quelques heures ou jours est perçu comme trop restrictif pour certains patients souffrant psychiquement ou physiquement dans les suites d’une maladie aiguë ou chronique. L’arrêt de la nutrition et de l’hydratation pose également des problèmes d’interprétation qui mériteraient d’être précisés. Cela conduit à une demande d’évolution législative vers l’euthanasie ou l’assistance au suicide. Une telle évolution, déjà pratiquée au Benelux depuis presque 20 ans non sans que le débat y persiste, doit être bien soupesée pour éviter les pièges d’une conception utilitariste de la vie. Mais elle doit aussi être posée en regard de la demande croissante d’autonomie qui ne constitue qu’une réponse logique et respectable aux progrès vertigineux de la médecine. Les priorités actuelles sont, d’une part, d’informer et de discuter des possibilités données par la loi actuelle et, d’autre part, de mettre en œuvre une politique globale diminuant les situations où le sentiment d’indignité de la fin de vie est prégnant. Les équipes de réanimation, par les conséquences proches comme plus lointaines de leur décision, sont et doivent rester au cœur de cette réflexion.
Uncontrolled donation after circulatory death, which occurs when an individual has experienced unexpected cardiac arrest, usually not in a hospital, generates both excitement and concern. On the one hand, uDCD programs have the capacity to significantly increase organ donation rates, with good transplant outcomes-mainly for kidneys, but also for livers and lungs. On the other hand, uDCD raises a number of ethical challenges. In this essay, we focus on an issue that is central to all uDCD protocols: When should we cease resuscitation and shift to organ preservation? Do current uDCD protocols prematurely consider as potential donors patients who could still have some chances of meaningful survival? Can the best interest of patients be fostered once they are considered and treated as potential donors?
BACKGROUND: Values clarification can assist families facing the threat of periviable delivery in navigating the complexity of competing values related to death, disability, and quality of life (QOL).
OBJECTIVE: We piloted values clarification exercises to inform resuscitation decision making and qualitatively assess perceptions of QOL.
METHODS: We conducted a mixed-method study of women with threatened periviable delivery (22 0/7-24 6/7 weeks) and their important others (IOs). Participants engaged in three values clarification activities as part of a semi-structured interview-(a) Card sorting nine conditions as an acceptable/unacceptable QOL for a child; (b) Rating/ranking seven common concerns in periviable decision making (scale 0-10, not at all to extremely important); and (c) "Agreed/disagreed" with six statements regarding end-of-life treatment, disability, and QOL. Participants were also asked to define "QOL" and describe their perceptions of a good and poor QOL for their child. Analysis was conducted using SAS version 9.4 and NVivo 12.
RESULTS: All mild disabilities were an acceptable QOL, while two-thirds of participants considered long-term mechanical ventilation unacceptable. Although pregnant women rated "Impact on Your Physical/Mental Health" (average 5.6) and IOs rated "financial Concerns" the highest (average 6.6), both groups ranked "financial Concerns" as the most important concern (median 5.0 and 6.0, respectively). Most participants agreed that "Any amount of life is better than no life at all" (pregnant women 62.1%; IOs 75.0%) and disagreed that resuscitation would cause "Too much suffering" for their child (pregnant women 71.4%; IOs 80.0%). Half were familiar with the phrase "QOL". Although the majority described a good QOL in terms of emotional well-being (eg "loved", "happy", "supported"), a poor QOL was described in terms of functionality (eg "dependent" and "confined"). Additionally, financial stability emerged as a distinctive theme when IOs discussed poor QOL.
CONCLUSION: Our study offers important insights on parental perspectives in periviable decision making and potential values clarification tools for decision support.
Background: A decision to refrain from cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the case of cardiac arrest is recommended in terminally ill patients to avoid unnecessary suffering at time of death. The aim of this study was to describe the frequency of decisions and documentation of “do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation” (DNACPR) in two Medical Home Care Units in Stockholm. Unit A had written guidelines about how to document CPR-decisions in the medical records, including a requirement for a decision to be taken (CPR: yes/no) while Unit B had no such requirement.
Method: The medical records for all patients in palliative phase of their disease at the two Units were reviewed. Data was collected on documentation of decisions about CPR (yes/no), DNACPR-decisions and documentation regarding whether the patient or next-of-kin had been informed about the DNACPR-decision.
Results: In the two Units, 316 and 219 patients in palliative phase were identified. In Unit A 100% of the patients had a CPR-decision (yes/no) compared to 79% in Unit B (p < 0.001). There was no statistically significant difference in DNACPR-decisions between the two Units, 43 and 37%. Documentation about informing the patient regarding the decision was significantly higher in Unit A, 53% compared to 14% at Unit B (p < 0.001). Documentation about informing the next-of-kin was also significantly higher at Unit A; 42% compared to 6% at Unit B (p < 0.001).
Conclusion: Less than 50% of patients in palliative phase had a decision of DNACPR in two Medical Home Care Units in Stockholm. The presence of written guidelines and a requirement for a CPR-decision did not increase the frequency of DNACPR-decisions but was associated with a higher frequency of documentation of decisions and of information given to both the patients and the next-of-kin.
INTRODUCTION: Positive pressure ventilation (PPV) with T-Piece and self-inflating bag (SIB) during neonatal resuscitation after birth is associated with variability in ventilation. The use of a ventilator with respiratory function monitoring (RFM) for PPV, however, has not been evaluated.
OBJECTIVE: To determine if ventilator + RFM can reduce ventilation variability compared to T-Piece and SIB in a preterm manikin at different combinations of target tidal volume (VT) and lung compliance (CL).
METHODS: Twenty clinicians provided PPV via mask and endotracheal tube (ETT) using SIB, T-Piece, T-Piece + RFM and Ventilator + RFM to a manikin with adjustable lung CL. Three combinations of CL and target VT: Low CL-Low VT, Low CL-High VT and High CL-Low VT were used in a random order.
RESULTS: The use of ventilator + RFM for PPV via ETT during High CL-Low VT period reduced the proportion of breaths with expiratory VT above target when compared to the other 3 devices (56 ± 35%, 85 ± 20%, 90 ± 25%, 92 ± 12% for ventilator + RFM, T-Piece + RFM, T-Piece, SIB, respectively; p < 0.05). During PPV via both mask and ETT, ventilator + RFM maintained the set Ti and rate, whereas SIB and T-Piece use resulted in higher rates, and T-Piece in higher proportion of breaths with prolonged Ti. During PPV via mask, ventilator + RFM reduced gas leakage compared to other devices.
CONCLUSION: In this simulation study, use of a mechanical ventilator with RFM led to an overall improvement in volume targeting at different settings of CL and reduced the gas leak during mask ventilation. The efficacy and safety of using this strategy to neonatal resuscitation in the delivery room needs to be evaluated.
L’objectif de l’étude était de comprendre les arguments utilisés pour prendre une décision de fin de vie en réanimation néonatale. L’étude était une étude qualitative par entretiens individuels semi dirigés avec analyse thématique. Les composantes entrant dans les discussions sont nombreuses. On note parfois une confusion dans l’intentionnalité. Les décisions prises lors des fins de vie en réanimation semblent souvent difficiles surtout dans les tableaux cliniques en demi-teinte.
Background: Differences in perception and potential disagreements between parents and professionals regarding the attitude for resuscitation at the limit of viability are common. This study evaluated in healthcare professionals whether the decision to resuscitate at the limit of viability (intensive care versus comfort care) are influenced by the way information on incurred risks is given or received.
Methods: This is a prospective randomized controlled study. This study evaluated the attitude of healthcare professionals by testing the effect of information given through graphic fact sheets formulated either optimistically or pessimistically. The written educational fact sheet included three graphical presentations of survival and complication/morbidity by gestational age. The questionnaire was submitted over a period of 4 months to 5 and 6-year medical students from the Geneva University as well as physicians and nurses of the neonatal unit at the University Hospitals of Geneva. Our sample included 102 healthcare professionals.
Results: Forty-nine responders (48%) were students (response rate of 33.1%), 32 (31%) paediatricians (response rate of 91.4%) and 21 (20%) nurses in NICU (response rate of 50%). The received risk tended to be more severe in both groups compared to the graphically presented facts and current guidelines, although optimistic representation favoured the perception of “survival without disability” at 23 to 25 weeks. Therapeutic attitudes did not differ between groups, but healthcare professionals with children were more restrained and students more aggressive at very low gestational ages.
Conclusion: Written information on mortality and morbidity given to healthcare professionals in graphic form encourages them to overestimate the risk. However, perception in healthcare staff may not be directly transferable to parental perception during counselling as the later are usually naïve to the data received. This parental information are always communicated in ways that subtly shape the decisions that follow.
"On s'était pourtant mis d'accord avec les enfants : pas d'acharnement". L''acharnement, un sujet on ne peut plus brûlant d'actualité médicale et sociétale.
Dans un service de réanimation où se mêlent technicité, souffrance, guérison, vulnérabilité, espoir et fin de vie, moi infirmière, ne peux plus me défausser face à cette famille qui par ces mots s'exclut, choque, dérange et déstabilise mon équipe.
En cours de formation continue de Soins Palliatifs et d'Accompagnement, il me faut y aller, me risquer, à la rencontre de ces parents qui ne demandent qu'à exister, être entendus, accompagnés.
Qu'a développé en moi, soignante, ce DIU si singulier pour me sentir prête à tenir une présence, tout entendre, et remettre en question ma pratique, mes positions dans des situations toujours plus complexes, humaines et éthiques telles que celles-ci ?
Les concepts d'altérité, transdisciplinarité et pratique réflexive vont m'aider à y répondre...
La traversée des soins intensifs fait rupture dans l'histoire de vie du sujet. Le récit autobiographique est interrompu par le sujet qui ne peut consciemment raconter et se raconter ce qu'il est en train de vivre. Pourtant quelque chose de l'identité perdure. Ce que la personne ne reconnaît pas c'est une partie d'elle-même jusque-là inexplorée, inexprimée, mais qui se révèle dans ce moment où logiqu de survie vient au-devant de logique de vie.
Les services de réanimation sont pourvoyeurs de nombreuses sources de détresse morale et émotionnelle. La mort y est omniprésente, et son accompagnement, bien encadré par les lois, permet au patient de partir avec dignité, et entouré de ses proches. L'accompagnement des familles est un élément de satisfaction et de diminution de l'incidence des complications psychologiques. Pour les soignants il reste encore du travail, notamment dans la prévention du burn-out.