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Ann Fr Anesth Reanim. 2013 Sep;32(9):602-6. doi: 10.1016/j.annfar.2013.05.008. Epub 2013 Aug 13.

[Implementation of morbidity and mortality conferences in French intensive care units: a survey].

[Article in French]

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Service de réanimation médicale, hôpital Émile-Muller, 20, avenue du Docteur-Laennec, 68100 Mulhouse cedex, France. Electronic address:



A national survey was conducted by the "Collège français d'anesthésie et de réanimation (CFAR)" and the "Collège des bonnes pratiques en réanimation (CBPR)", to analyze the implementation of morbidity and mortality conferences (MMCs) in French intensive care units (ICUs).


An electronic questionnaire was set up. We directed the survey at French ICUs physicians registered in the two Colleges directories, only one form was filled in by each participating unit.


From December 2009 to February 2010, Among the 170 replies, 120 ICUs (71%) practiced MMC. No difference in the typology of the two groups was found. The median annual number of MMCs was 4 per year (1-15). The perimeter of the MMCs concerned only the ICU unit in 70 cases (58%), more than one ICU unit in the same department in 11 cases (9.8%), more than one department of ICU in 16 cases (13%) and other departments in 57 cases (48%). The events analyzed were: all deaths in 45 cases (37.5%), unexpected deaths in 50 cases (41.7%), severe adverse events in 67 cases (55.8%) and other events in 19 cases (15.8%). At least one adverse event defined by the two colleges in the process of "accreditation" was analyzed in 86 cases (72%). Participation of a physician of at least one other unit was reported in 56 cases (47%) and of medical students in 62 cases (52%). The low rate of participation of ICU nurses was reported in 62 cases (69.2%) and their absence in 35 cases (29%). MMCs consequences were drafting of new procedure in 99 cases (83%), changes in procedures in 75 cases (63%), conducting training programs in 60 cases (50%), organizational changes in 86 cases (72%), adverse event declaration in 21 cases (18%) and monitoring indicators in 40 cases (33%). Among units which did not practice MMCs, Identified obstacles were organizational causes in 25 cases (50%), inexperience in seven cases (14%), lack of methodology in 4 cases (8%), realization of other methods of formative assessment in 4 cases (8%) and physician's refusal in three cases (6%). The fear of medico-legal problem was never reported as a barrier to MMCs practice. Forty-five units (90%) projected to practice MMR.


This survey showed that the practice of MMR is common in French ICUs, allowing the identification of organizational problems, but also of training needs, joining one of the initial concerns that have led to their implementation. Expanding the participation to non-physician members of the units should be encouraged, without underestimating the difficulties particularly in the organizational domains that represent an obstacle to development of MMCs.


Critical care; Morbidity and mortality; Revues de morbi-mortalité; Réanimation

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