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Intern Med J. 2019 Jan;49(1):119-122. doi: 10.1111/imj.14177.

Recognising and managing dying patients in the acute hospital setting: can we do better?

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, St Vincent's Hospital, Victoria, Australia.
2
Centre for Palliative Care, Victoria, Australia.
3
Department of Nephrology, St Vincent's Hospital, Victoria, Australia.
4
Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
5
Intensive Care Unit, The Canberra Hospital, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

Abstract

Healthcare professionals have limited formal end-of-life care training despite the large proportion of hospital deaths. A retrospective review of 201 acute hospital deaths revealed 166 (82.6%) had documentation to suggest the patient was dying but this was performed late with a median time between documentation and death of 0.84 days. Furthermore, 132 (66%) patients received an intervention in the final 48 h of life. This highlights the need to improve the recognition and management of dying patients in acute hospitals.

KEYWORDS:

communication; death; education; end-of-life care; recognising dying

PMID:
30680897
DOI:
10.1111/imj.14177

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