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- Open Access
End-of-life decision making for cancer patients in an intensive care unit
© Tavares et al.; 2015
- Published: 1 October 2015
- Intensive Care Unit
- Hematological Malignancy
- Hospital Mortality
- Multivariate Logistic Regression Analysis
- Life Support
Patients with advanced malignances are at a high risk of developing complications that lead to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission. Despite improvements in ICU-level care, mortality rates for some patients remain especially high. Limitation of therapy is an integral component of high-quality care of cancer patients in the ICU.
Describe the practice and analyze associated factors of life-sustaining treatment in the 8-bed ICU of a cancer specialized center.
Retrospective surveillance of adult patients (aged more than 18 years) admitted to the ICU from January/2010 to December/2014. For patients with more than one admission, only the last one was analyzed. Patients were divided into two groups: withdrawing or withholding life support (WWLS), and full life support, as suggested in the literature. Predictive factors of WWLS were identified using multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Multivariate logistic regression analysis.
Duration of mechanical ventilation
Length of stay in the ICU
APACHE ≥ 35
End-of-life practice has been a routine in our center during the last 5 years (13% of admissions). As demonstrated previously in general ICU, clinical parameters seem to be major determinants of WWLS decisions in cancer patients. Consensus statements may help physicians in the difficult task of end-of-life decision making.
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