The frequency and cost of treatment perceived to be futile in critical care

Paid medicine. Cost of treatment. Isolated 3D imageJAMA Internal Medicine | Online – 9 September 2013 – In the health system, treatment in critical care that is perceived to be futile is common and the cost is substantial. Advances in medicine enable critical care specialists to save lives as well as prolong dying. An admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) should be considered a therapeutic trial – aggressive critical care should transition to palliative care once it is clear that the treatment will not achieve an acceptable health state for the patient. However, intensive care interventions often sustain life under circumstances that will not achieve an outcome that patients can meaningfully appreciate. Such treatments are often perceived to be “futile” by health care providers…read more

An article from Media Watch, compiled and annotated by Barry R. Ashpole (Ontario, Canada). More reports can be found at IPCRC.NET