The skilled and rapid resuscitation of critically ill patients is a central premise in the specialty of emergency medicine (EM). A paradox for providers often arises when in the midst of resuscitating a patient with advanced chronic illness, the question of risks versus benefits arises. For this patient, we may successfully stabilize vital signs, but at what cost? Will this patient return to a quality of life they deem acceptable? What are the patient’s goals of treatments given his/her underlying disease? These questions illustrate the need for emergency physicians to be more aware of and comfortable with palliative care practices.(more…)
Beyond the Abstract: Patient video testimonials improve physician interpretation of advance directives and POLST
Over 1,300 physicians across the U.S. were asked to interpret patient preferences for end-of-life care in theoretical cases. Physicians rarely reached consensus about patient preferences when they were given only living wills and POLST documents to interpret. The addition of a patient video testimonial helped physicians make better care decisions that reflected their patients’ wishes. Will video become the new national standard for advance care planning?