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Ethically justified treatment limitations in emergency situations
Tampere Univ Hosp, Dept Intens Care Med, POB 2000, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland.;Tampere Univ Hosp, Crit Care Med Res Grp, POB 2000, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland.;Seinajoki Cent Hosp, Dept Anaesthesiol, Seinajoki, Finland..
Univ Helsinki, Cent Hosp, Dept Anaesthesiol Intens Care Emergency Care & Pa, Helsinki, Finland.;Univ Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care. Tampere Univ Hosp, Dept Intens Care Med, POB 2000, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland.;Tampere Univ Hosp, Crit Care Med Res Grp, POB 2000, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland..
Tampere Univ Hosp, Dept Intens Care Med, POB 2000, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland.;Tampere Univ Hosp, Crit Care Med Res Grp, POB 2000, FI-33521 Tampere, Finland..
2016 (English)In: European journal of emergency medicine, ISSN 0969-9546, E-ISSN 1473-5695, Vol. 23, no 3, 214-218 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
Abstract [en]

Objective Medical emergency teams (METs) implement do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation (DNACPR) orders and other limitations of medical treatment (LOMTs) in hospitals regularly. However, METs operate in emergency situations with limited or no patient information at the scene. We aimed to study the medical ethics of LOMTs implemented in in-hospital emergency situations.

Methods: This was a prospective observational study with retrospect case-note analysis conducted in a single Finnish university hospital over 16 months. Data were collected according to the Utstein-style scientific statement.

Results: There were 774 reviews on 640 patients without preceding LOMT. During the reviews MET assigned LOMTs (including 55 DNACPR orders) for a group of 59 patients who were older (median 77 vs. 68 years; P<0.001) and had higher cumulative comorbidity (median Charlson comorbidity index 2 vs. 1; P=0.001) compared with patients without LOMTs (no-LOMT). Most reviews (71%) leading to new LOMTs occurred during on-call time. In the majority of LOMT cases at least two physicians (86%) and the patient/relatives (76%) were involved in the decision-making. All but one (98%) of the LOMT reviews were documented in the electronic patient records and included clearly described rationale for the LOMT. The median durations of the MET groups. Age alone was never recorded as a reason for LOMT.

Conclusion: LOMTs were implemented in a decent and ethically justified manner in emergency situations following the code of conduct recommended by guidelines, even though MET operated under highly suboptimal circumstances for end-of-life care planning.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 23, no 3, 214-218 p.
Keyword [en]
do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation, ethics, limitations of medical treatment, medical emergency team
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-297253DOI: 10.1097/MEJ.0000000000000240ISI: 000375149500011PubMedID: 25622183OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-297253DiVA: diva2:944194
Available from: 2016-06-29 Created: 2016-06-22 Last updated: 2016-06-29Bibliographically approved

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