Attitudes towards end-of-life issues in intensive care unit among Italian anesthesiologists: a nation-wide survey

Andrea Cortegiani, Santi Maurizio Raineri, Antonino Giarratano, Cesare Gregoretti, Sebastiano Mercadante, Sebastiano Mercadante, Vincenzo Russotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The aim of this paper is to collect data on the practice of palliative care, withholding and withdrawal of life-sustaining therapies, and management of end of life (EOL) in Italian intensive care units (ICUs). Methods: Web-based survey among Italian anesthesiologists endorsed by the Italian Society of Anesthesiology Analgesia Reanimation and Intensive Care (SIAARTI). The survey consists of 27 close-ended and 2 open-ended questions. Results: Eight hundred and five persons responded to the full list of questions. The highest proportion of respondents was of 36â45 years of age (34%) and catholic (66%). Almost 70% of responders declared that palliative/supportive care are applied in their ICU in case of futility of intensive treatments. Decision on withdrawing/withholding of life-sustaining treatments resulted from team consensus in most cases (58%). In more than 70% of respondersâ ICUs, there is no collaboration with palliative/supportive care experts. Systematic recording of most frequent symptoms experienced by critically ill patients (e.g., pain, dyspnea, thirst) was not common. Vasopressors, extracorporeal therapies, blood component transfusions and invasive monitoring were the most commonly modified/interrupted measures in case of futility. Almost 85% of respondents have not received training in palliative/supportive care. The proportion of respondents whose institution has a palliative care team and who had training in palliative care was not homogenous across the country. Conclusions: These data suggest that training in palliative care and its clinical application should be implemented in Italy. Efforts should be made to improve and homogenize the management of dying patients in ICU.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalSupportive Care in Cancer
Publication statusPublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology

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