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Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2013 Feb;30(1):35-9. doi: 10.1177/1049909112440740. Epub 2012 Apr 10.

Comfort measures only: agreeing on a common definition through a survey.

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Department of Medicine, Saint Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York, NY, USA.


Despite how frequently we say "comfort measures only" (CMO) in the hospital setting, review of the medical literature yields poor representation and definition of the term. Through a survey in our hospital center, we aimed at understanding what doctors understand as CMO. A total of 176 physicians responded to the survey. We asked them about the moment in the patient care timeline when to use it and what degree of respiratory support, laboratory draws, antibiotic therapy, level of care, and code status should be a part of it. Disparities in responses were the norm, and common defining characteristics were the exception.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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