Recognising and managing dying patients in the acute hospital setting: can we do better?
Bharathy Gunasekaran, Caroline Scott, Kathryn Ducharlet, David Marco, Imogen Mitchell, Jennifer Weil
INTERNAL MEDICINE JOURNAL | WILEY | Published : 2019
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.
This study was part of a multi-centre 'Understanding of End-of-life Care in Acute Hospital Study' that was partly funded by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.