Cette publication propose d'abord une nouvelle conception permettant de réduire l'important "saut cognitif" que nécessite la pensée d'unifier les soins palliatifs et les soins intensifs. Un portrait des différents enjeux entourant la fin de vie à l'USI sera ensuite présenté, suivi d'une brève recension des interventions susceptibles de faciliter l'intégration de cette conception à l'USI.
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BACKGROUND: Futile care in the neuroscience intensive care unit (NSICU) can create moral distress for clinicians who may differ in their interpretation of the value of such care. We sought to compare the perception of provision of futile care in the NSICU among physicians, advanced practice providers, and intensive care unit registered nurses (ICURNs).
METHODS: This is a cross-sectional study of 77 patients. A standardized questionnaire was used to ask clinicians whether care being provided to NSICU patients admitted for more than 48 hours was futile and whether they would want that treatment for their loved one. Demographics, diagnosis, and reason for treatment futility were collected. Futility was analyzed independently and in an aggregate manner (yes/probable combined and no/probable combined).
RESULTS: The sample median age was 61 (SD, 17.179) years, men comprised 53% of the sample, and 68% were white. Collectively, there were 77 futile responses (33%), 136 nonfutile (59%), and 18 probable futile (8%). Physicians and nurse practitioners deemed futility in 36% of patients; ICURNs, in 27% (P < .05). Age, race, or diagnosis did not impact futility perception. The treatment was acceptable for a loved one in 53% of cases for physicians, 43% for advanced practice providers, and 48% for ICURNs (P < .05). Interobserver agreement for futility was 0.469 (CK), and pairwise agreement was 71%. Interobserver agreement for treatment acceptable for a loved one was 0.568 (CK), and pairwise agreement was 78%.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians consider NSICU care futile in one-third of patients, but correlation among them is moderate; no specific variable is associated with such perception.
OBJECTIVES: End-of-life (EOL) situations are common in the intensive care unit (ICU). Poor communication in respective situations may result in conflict and/or post-traumatic stress disorder in patients' next of kin. Thus, training for EOL communication seems pivotal. Primary objective of the current report was to identify approaches for educational programs in the ICU with regard to EOL communication as well as to conclude on implications for future curricula.
MATERIALS AND METHOD: A literature review in MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PsychINFO was performed. A total of 3484 articles published between 2000 until 2016 were assessed for eligibility. Nine articles reporting on education in EOL communication in the ICU were identified and analyzed further.
RESULTS: The duration of EOL workshops ranged from 3 hours to 3 days, with several different educational methods being applied. Mounting data suggest improved comfort, preparedness, and communication performance in EOL providers following specific EOL training. Due to missing data, the effect of EOL training programs on respective patients' next of kin remains unclear.
CONCLUSION: Few scientific investigations focus on EOL communication in intensive care medicine. The available evidence points to increased comfort and EOL communication performance following specific individual EOL training. Given the general importance of EOL communication, we suggest implementation of educational EOL programs. When developing future educational programs, educators should consider previous experience of participants, clearly defined objectives based on institutional needs, and critical care society recommendations to ensure best benefit of all involved parties.
OBJECTIVE: Surrogate decision-makers play an increasingly important role in the lives of older adults who have lost their ability to make decisions. Currently, there is a lack of evidence to support family surrogates in making a variety of decisions. Additionally, a greater understanding of family caregivers' experiences and perspectives toward making surrogate decisions is needed.
METHODS: This study employed a qualitative systematic review and thematic synthesis of the research evidence using the methodologies of the Joanna Briggs Institute (2014) and Thomas and Harden (2008).
RESULTS: Decisions were classified per three main types: intensive care treatment, end-of-life treatment, and placement. Six themes were identified concerning surrogates' experiences: struggle and reluctance, seeking reassurance, communication with healthcare professionals, family support, older adults' wishes, and negative impact.
CONCLUSION: Family surrogates often lack adequate preparation and education regarding decision-making. Quality communication between surrogates and healthcare providers helps reduce the anxiety and guilt experienced when making surrogate decisions. Further research is required to elucidate these experiences with more cultural and racial nuances.
PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: This review informs healthcare providers' awareness of the challenges faced by surrogates and fosters improved surrogate decision-making experiences.
Importance: Overall, 1 of 5 decedents in the United States is admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) before death.
Objective: To describe structures, processes, and variability of end-of-life care delivered in ICUs in the United States.
Design, Setting, and Participants: This nationwide cohort study used data on 16 945 adults who were cared for in ICUs that participated in the 68-unit ICU Liberation Collaborative quality improvement project from January 2015 through April 2017. Data were analyzed between August 2018 and June 2019.
Main Outcomes and Measures: Published quality measures and end-of-life events, organized by key domains of end-of-life care in the ICU.
Results: Of 16 945 eligible patients in the collaborative, 1536 (9.1%) died during their initial ICU stay. Of decedents, 654 (42.6%) were women, 1037 (67.5%) were 60 years or older, and 1088 (70.8%) were identified as white individuals. Wide unit-level variation in end-of-life care delivery was found. For example, the median unit-stratified rate of cardiopulmonary resuscitation avoidance in the last hour of life was 89.5% (interquartile range, 83.3%-96.1%; range, 50.0%-100%). Median rates of patients who were pain free and delirium free in last 24 hours of life were 75.1% (interquartile range, 66.0%-85.7%; range, 0-100%) and 60.0% (interquartile range, 43.7%-85.2%; range, 9.1%-100%), respectively. Ascertainment of an advance directive was associated with lower odds of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the last hour of life (odds ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.49-0.99; P = .04), and a documented offer or delivery of spiritual support was associated with higher odds of family presence at the time of death (odds ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.37-2.77; P < .001). Death in a unit with an open visitation policy was associated with higher odds of pain in the last 24 hours of life (odds ratio, 2.21; 95% CI, 1.15-4.27; P = .02). Unsupervised cluster analysis revealed 3 mutually exclusive unit-level patterns of end-of-life care delivery among 63 ICUs with complete data. Cluster 1 units (14 units [22.2%]) had the lowest rate of cardiopulmonary resuscitation avoidance but achieved the highest pain-free rate. Cluster 2 (25 units [39.7%]) had the lowest delirium-free rate but achieved high rates of all other end-of-life events. Cluster 3 (24 units [38.1%]) achieved high rates across all favorable end-of-life events.
Conclusions and Relevance: In this study, end-of-life care delivery varied substantially among ICUs in the United States, and the patterns of care observed suggest that units can be characterized as higher and lower performing. To achieve optimal care for patients who die in an ICU, future research should target unit-level variation and disseminate the successes of higher-performing units.
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The number of patients who die in the hospital in the Western world is high, and 20-30% of them are admitted to an ICU in the last month of life, including those in cardiac ICUs (CICUs) where invasive procedures are performed and mortality is high. Palliative consultation is provided in only a few cases. The ethical and decisional aspects associated with the advanced stages of illness are very rarely discussed.
RECENT FINDINGS: The epidemiological and clinical landscape of CICUs has changed in the last decade; the incidence of acute coronary syndromes has decreased, whereas noncardiovascular diseases, comorbidities, the patients' age and clinical and therapeutic complexity have increased. The use of advanced and invasive treatments, such as mechanical ventilation, mechanical circulatory support and renal replacement therapies, has increased. This evolution increases the possibility of developing a life-threatening clinical event.
SUMMARY: This review aimed to analyze the main epidemiological, clinical, ethical and training aspects that can facilitate the introduction of supportive/palliative care programs in the CICU to improve symptom management during the advanced/terminal stages of illness, and address such issues as advance care planning, withdrawing/withholding life-sustaining treatments, deactivation of implantable defibrillators and palliative sedation.
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.
OBJECTIVE: To explore the experience of intensive care nurses when participating in the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments from intensive care unit patients.
DESIGN AND METHODS: A qualitative descriptive and explorative design. Data were collected in 2017 and 2018 by interviewing nine intensive care nurses. The data were analysed by using systematic text condensation.
SETTING: The nine intensive care nurses interviewed worked in four different intensive care units located in one university hospital and one local hospital.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Experiences when participating in the process of withdrawing life-sustaining treatments.
FINDINGS: Three categories emerged from the data analysis: ICU nurses' experiences of stress in the process of treatment withdrawal; a requirement for interdisciplinary support and cooperation; and elements to achieve a dignified treatment withdrawal process.
CONCLUSION: The intensive care nurses experienced challenges and emotional reactions when patients were overtreated or when they had to participate in treatments they did not agree with. They considered debriefings to be helpful in dealing with emotions. Thorough planning, good communication, pain relief, and the creation of a peaceful environment were perceived as important elements in achieving a dignified treatment withdrawal process.
Background: To identify the necessary care for dying patients in intensive care units (ICUs), we designed a retrospective study to evaluate the quality of dying and death (QODD) experienced by the surrogates of patients with medical illness who died in the ICU of a tertiary referral hospital.
Methods: To achieve our objective, the authors compared the QODD scores as appraised by the relatives of patients who died of cancer under hospice care with those who died in the ICU. For this study, a Korean version of the QODD questionnaire was developed, and individual interviews were also conducted.
Results: Sixteen people from the intensive care group and 23 people from the hospice care group participated in the survey and completed the questionnaire. The family members of patients who died in the ICU declined participation at a high rate (50%), with the primary reason being to avoid bringing back painful memories (14 people, 87.5%). The relatives of the intensive care group obtained an average total score on the 17-item QODD questionnaire, which was significantly lower than that of the relatives of the hospice group (48.7±15.5 vs. 60.3±14.8, P=0.03).
Conclusions: This work implies that there are unmet needs for the care of dying patients and for the QODD in tertiary hospital ICUs. This result suggests that shared decision making for advance care planning should be encouraged and that education on caring for dying patients should be provided to healthcare professionals to improve the QODD in Korean ICUs.
End-of-life care in the intensive care unit is fraught with complicated psychological responses by patients, families, and staff. Empathic and mindful communication, inclusion of all integral staff in decision-making meetings, and multidimensional support of patients and families can ease the transition away from aggressive life-prolonging to comfort-oriented end of life care. Primary palliative care communication strategies can help clarify goals of care and facilitate transitions. Early integration of specialist palliative care is recommended.
Background: The 3 Wishes Project (3WP) is an end-of-life program that aims to honor the dignity of dying patients by creating meaningful patient- and family-centered memories while promoting humanistic interprofessional care.
Objective: To determine whether this palliative intervention could be successfully implemented-defined as demonstrating value, transferability, affordability, and sustainability-beyond the intensive care unit in which it was created.
Design: Mixed-methods formative program evaluation. (ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04147169).
Setting: 4 North American intensive care units.
Participants: Dying patients, their families, clinicians, hospital managers, and administrators.
Intervention: Wishes from dying patients, family members, and clinicians were elicited and implemented.
Measurements: Patient characteristics and processes of care; the number, type, and cost of each wish; and semistructured interviews and focus groups with family members, clinicians, and managers.
Results: A total of 730 patients were enrolled, and 3407 wishes were elicited. Qualitative data were gathered from 75 family members, 72 clinicians, and 20 managers or hospital administrators. Value included intentional comforting of families as they honored the lives and legacies of their loved ones while inspiring compassionate clinical care. Factors promoting transferability included family appreciation and a collaborative intensive care unit culture committed to dignity-conserving end-of-life care. Staff participation evolved from passive support to professional agency. Program initiation required minimal investment for reusable materials; thereafter, the mean cost was $5.19 (SD, $17.14) per wish. Sustainability was demonstrated by the continuation of 3WP at each site after study completion.
Limitation: This descriptive formative evaluation describes tertiary care center-specific experiences rather than aiming for generalizability to all jurisdictions.
Conclusion: The 3WP is a transferrable, affordable, and sustainable program that provides value to dying patients, their families, clinicians, and institutions.
Primary Funding Source: Greenwall Foundation.
BACKGROUND: End-of-life (EOL) decision-making in the intensive care unit (ICU) can be emotionally challenging for both doctors and nurses, who are sometimes placed in difficult positions where they are required to make decisions on behalf of patients. With an ageing population and advances in medical technology, there is an increase in such decisions being made in ICUs.
OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to explore the perspectives of doctors and nurses involved in the EOL decision-making process in an ICU.
METHODS: This study used a qualitative methodology based on naturalistic inquiry. Intensive care nurses and doctors from a large Sydney metropolitan public hospital were purposively selected, and data saturation was reached after a total of eight nurses and four doctors were interviewed. Data were collected through semistructured interviews, either face-to-face or over the telephone. Interviews were then transcribed verbatim, and themes were identified and coded through a line-by-line analysis of each transcript (manual thematic analysis).
FINDINGS: The findings revealed two main themes: 'Doctors' and nurses' roles in decision-making' and 'Managing family expectations'. These themes highlighted key differences in decision-making processes, in that doctors tended to aim to meet the family's needs, while the nurses tended to advocate on behalf of the patient and what they interpreted as the patient's best interests. Furthermore, nurses tended to feel undervalued in decision-making during family conferences, when in reality, the doctors were making decisions based on all information obtained, primarily from nursing staff.
CONCLUSIONS: EOL decision-making is complex and affects doctors and nurses involved in different ways. More emphasis on interprofessional education and collaboration between the two disciplines may enhance future decision-making processes.
Purpose: Nonbenzodiazepines are preferred for continuous sedation in mechanically ventilated intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Although dexmedetomidine and propofol have blood pressure lowering properties, limited data exist about the hemodynamic effects of concomitant administration. The purpose of this study was to compare the adverse hemodynamic event rate with concomitant dexmedetomidine and propofol compared to either agent alone in mechanically ventilated ICU patients.
Methods: This retrospective cohort study was conducted at a university medical center. Adult ICU patients (=18 years) admitted between October 20, 2015, and January 25, 2018, and administered concurrent dexmedetomidine and propofol or either agent alone for =24 hours were included. Mean arterial pressure, heart rate, and sedative dosing requirements were assessed from initiation to 72 hours after initiation. The primary end point was comparing the incidence of hypotension among study groups. Secondary aims compared the incidence of tachycardia and bradycardia as well as clinical outcomes.
Results: Overall, 276 patients were included among combination (n = 93), dexmedetomidine (n = 91), and propofol (n = 92) groups. The incidence of hypotension was significantly higher in patients administered concomitant dexmedetomidine and propofol (62.4%) compared to those administered dexmedetomidine (23.1%) or propofol (23.9%) alone (P < .0001). Adjunctive dexmedetomidine with propofol was also associated with higher rates of clinically relevant hypotension requiring treatment (P = .048). The tachycardia incidence in the concomitant, dexmedetomidine, and propofol groups were 30.1%, 28.6%, and 14.1%, respectively (P = 02). Only 1.4% (n = 4) of all study patients developed bradycardia. Concomitant therapy was an independent risk factor of hypotension compared to either dexmedetomidine (odds ratio [OR]: 6.7, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.61-17.3, P < .0001) or propofol (OR: 2.89, 95% CI: 1.24-6.74, P = .014) monotherapy. Patients experiencing hypotension were associated with worse clinical outcomes.
Conclusion: Concomitant dexmedetomidine and propofol use in mechanically ventilated patients increased the risk of hypotensive events. Adjunctive dexmedetomidine with propofol administration in the critically ill warrants caution.
BACKGROUND: An intensive care unit (ICU) features high mortality rates. Witnessing subsequent deaths may affect nurses psychologically and spiritually. Islam has an influence on Muslims' life and death. Nevertheless, little is known about Muslim intensive care nurses' experiences of grief in dealing with the deaths of patients.
AIM AND OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to describe the grief reactions and coping strategies of Muslim nurses in dealing with the death of patients.
DESIGN: This is a qualitative study with a phenomenological approach.
METHODS: Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted. Fourteen participants from an ICU in an Indonesian tertiary public hospital participated in this study. Data were analysed by thematic analysis. Trustworthiness was established by Lincoln and Guba's criteria.
RESULTS: The findings identified four reactions of grief, four factors influencing reactions of grief, and three coping strategies used in dealing with death in an ICU. The reactions of nurse's grief were crying, being sad, feeling disappointed, and feeling guilty. These reactions were related to several factors including the circumstances of the patient's death, nurse's expectation of patient's recovery, relationships with the patient, and the reactions of family. Coping management strategies used by nurses in dealing with their grief comprised: sharing with colleagues, avoiding dying and death situations, and engaging in spirituality.
CONCLUSIONS: The Muslim ICU nurse participants experienced their grieving through a variety of psychological reactions influenced by several factors. Personal coping strategies were revealed in dealing with their grief. However, avoiding dying and death situations affected their duty.
RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Attention to nurses' grief should be paid to maintain their psychological well-being and quality of end-of-life care. Providing formal support to enhance grief management is recommended.
BACKGROUND: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurses in Korea often experience challenges in providing care for dying infants and their families. However, there is limited understanding about what contributes to the challenges related to end-of-life care.
PURPOSE: To describe NICU nurses' perceived roles and challenges faced while providing end-of-life care in South Korea.
METHODS: A qualitative descriptive study was conducted with 20 NICU nurses in South Korea using semi-structured interviews. Participants were recruited from two NICUs in Seoul, where infant mortality is the highest in South Korea. Transcribed interviews were coded by two research personnel, and subsequently, a developed coding book was translated by three research personnel. The codes developed were categorized and peer-reviewed to develop themes using conventional content analysis.
RESULTS: Nurses' roles during end-of-life care were grouped into four categories: providing information and support, enhancing attachment between the parents and infants, providing direct care to the infant, and completing documentation. Nurses' perceived challenges during end-of-life care included providing end-of-life care without adequate experience and knowledge, environmental constraints on end-of-life care, and conflicted situations during end-of-life care.
CONCLUSION: Although the nurses provided the best care they could, their end-of-life care practice was hindered for various reasons. To enhance NICU nurses' ability to provide and make them more capable of providing high quality EOL care, hospitals need to support nurse education and improve staffing level, and create in NICUs an environment that is favorable for providing EOL care.
Background: The increasing population of very old intensive care patients (VIPs) is a major challenge currently faced by clinicians and policymakers. Reliable indicators of VIPs' prognosis and purposefulness of their admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) are urgently needed.
Methods: This is a report from the Polish sample of the VIP1 multicentre cohort study (NCT03134807). Patients = 80 years of age admitted to the ICU were included in the study. Information on the type and reason for admission, demographics, utilisation of ICU procedures, ICU length of stay, organ dysfunction and the decision to apply end-of-life care was collected. The primary objective was to investigate the impact of frailty syndrome on ICU and 30-day survival of VIPs. Frailty was assessed with the Clinical Frailty Scale (= 5 points on a scale of 1-9).
Results: We enrolled 272 participants with a median age of 84 (81-87) years. Frailty was diagnosed in 170 (62.5%) patients. The ICU and 30-day survival rates were equal to 54.6% and 47.3% respectively. Three variables were found to significantly increase the odds of death in the ICU in a multiple logistic regression model: SOFA score (OR = 1.16; 95%CI 1.16-1.24), acute mode of admission (OR = 5.1; 95%CI 1.67-15.57) and frailty (OR = 2.25; 95%CI 1.26-4.01).
Conclusion: Measuring frailty in critically ill older adults can facilitate making more informed clinical decisions and help avoid futile interventions.
OBJECTIVE: Treatment limitation, as well as do-not-resuscitate (DNR) directives, are difficult but important to improve patients' quality of life and minimize dysthanasia. We aimed to study the approach to withholding, withdrawal, and DNR decisions, patients' characteristics, and process documentation in a general Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in Portugal.
METHODS: A retrospective analysis of data regarding the limitation of treatment decisions collected from previously-designed forms and complemented by medical record consultation.
RESULTS: A total of 1602 patients were admitted to the ICU between 2011 and 2016. DNR decisions were documented in 127 cases (7.9%). Patients with treatment limitations were older and had higher Simplified Acute Physiology Score II. The most frequent diagnosis preceding these decisions was sepsis (52.0%, n = 66); the most common main reason for limiting treatment was a poor prognosis of acute illness. Of the patients to whom a DNR was implemented, 117 (92.1%) died in the ICU (40.1% of the total number of ICU deaths), and hospital mortality was 100%. Participants in these decisions, as well as types of treatment withdrawn and their respective timings, were not registered in medical records.
CONCLUSION: Treatment limitation and DNR decisions were relatively common, in line with other Southern European studies, but behind Northern European and North American centers. Patients with these limitations were older and more severely ill than patients without such decisions. Documentation of these processes should be clear and detailed, either in specific forms or computerized clinical records; there is room for improvement in this area.
BACKGROUND: Intensive care to facilitate organ donation (ICOD) has been defined as the initiation or continuation of intensive care measures in patients with a devastating brain injury (DBI) in whom treatment for curative purposes is deemed futile, and who are considered possible organ donors, with the aim of offering donation after brain death (DBD) inside their end-of-life care plans. We describe the effect on the donation and transplantation activity of the implementation of ICOD protocol at a university hospital.
METHODS: Retrospective analysis (2015-2018) of demographics and outcomes of all patients with a DBI, in whom ICOD was considered as part of their end-of-life care in Vall d'Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona.
RESULTS: Of the 983 possible donors evaluated, ICOD was considered in 206 (21%), of whom 115 (55.8%) were medically unsuitable for donation. Family consent was obtained for 69 (76%) of the remaining patients. Refusal rate was twice as high when nontherapeutic ventilation was required for organ donation (34%) vs patients previously ventilated (13.6%) (P = .02). Patients subject to ICOD died in a median of 2 days (1-3 d) and 88.4% became actual donors (39 after brain death; 22 after circulatory death). Nine (17.6%) donors were finally not utilized. ICOD contributed to 29% (ranging from 27.7% in 2015 to 31.6% in 2018) of the 208 actual donors and 26% of the 603 organs transplanted.
CONCLUSIONS: ICOD is well-accepted by families and offers the donation option to an increasing number of patients at our hospital. It provides an important and sustained increment of the organ pool for transplantation.