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Ethics consultations reduce time and procedures in intensive care

Authors
Journal
Evidence-based Healthcare
1462-9410
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.ehbc.2004.02.010
Keywords
  • Intensive Care
  • Ethics Consultation
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Randomised Controlled Trial
Disciplines
  • Philosophy

Abstract

Abstract Question What effect do ethics consultations have on number of life-sustaining treatments and length of stay in intensive care units? Study Design Randomised controlled trial. Main Results There were no differences in mortality between groups. In people who died in hospital, ethics consultation significantly reduced the number of days spent in intensive care and hospital (−1.44 days in intensive care, p=0.03; −2.95 days in hospital, p=0.01; −1.7 days on ventilation, p=0.03). Among people surviving to discharge, there were no significant differences in clinical outcomes between groups ( p>0.05). At least 80% of people interviewed during follow-up (including patients or family members and healthcare professionals) indicated that ethics consultations were helpful and would recommend them to others. Authors’ Conclusions Ethics consultations reduced length of stay in intensive care by people who did not survive to discharge, but did not alter outcomes for survivors. The consultations were well received by healthcare professionals, patients and their family members.

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