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The intensive care unit 

The intensive care unit
Chapter:
The intensive care unit
Author(s):

Jennifer McAdam

and Kathleen Puntillo

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199332342.003.0054
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date: 12 November 2018

This chapter discusses the provision of palliative care in ICUs, with an emphasis on end-of-life care. Specifically, challenges and barriers to providing such care in ICUs are described, and recommendations are offered for the provision of symptom assessment and management. Current issues related to holding family meetings, establishing patient goals of care, surrogate decision-making, and withholding and withdrawing life-sustaining therapies are covered. Recommendations are offered for attending to the needs of families and of healthcare providers who care for ICU patients at the end of life. Finally, an international agenda for improving end-of-life care in ICUs is presented.

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