TITLE

Prehospital withholding and withdrawal of life-sustaining treatments. The French LATASAMU survey

AUTHOR(S)
Ferrand, Edouard; Marty, Jean; French LATASAMU Group
PUB. DATE
October 2006
SOURCE
Intensive Care Medicine;Oct2006, Vol. 32 Issue 10, p1498
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
journal article
ABSTRACT
Objective: To investigate the end-of-life decision process in patients managed by emergency physicians in the prehospital setting.Design: A 40-item retrospective study about most recent end-of-life decision in the prehospital setting.Patients and Participants: 1069 physicians (44.9%) from 192 French emergency mobile units.Measurements and Results: A total of 816 (76.3%) physicians reported at least one prehospital end-of-life decision. Conscious patients were involved in 30.7% (54/176) and families in 63.6% of cases. The physician discussed the end-of-life decision with at least one other physician in 56.5% of cases. Perceived imminent death was the most frequently reported criterion (90.1%). Nearly four fifths of patients died before arrival at the hospital (78.8%). Factors independently associated with prehospital withdrawal decision included multiple trauma [odds ratio (OR) 5.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6-19.7], intubation (OR 3.9, 95% CI 2.3-6.5), chronic disease with severe heart failure (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.5-5.2), acute event with postanoxic coma (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3-4.0), emergency physician from a teaching hospital (OR 2.1, 95% CI, 1.3-3.5), male patient (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.1-3.3), and no sedation (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.2-3.1). Prehospital withholding decisions were taken for 684 (88%) patients and withdrawing decisions for 12%.Conclusions: Treatment withholding and withdrawal is common in the prehospital setting in France. These decisions remain highly questionable in this emergency context, in the absence of knowledge of the patient's medical history and of patients' and relatives' clear wishes concerning end-of-life decisions.
ACCESSION #
22530380

 

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