End of Life Care
Whilst we offer critical care in the hope that our patients have a good chance of recovery, sometimes patients deteriorate despite our best efforts. At this point, we have to make decisions with our patients, or in their best interests having consulted with their close relatives/friends, regarding changing our focus from ongoing treatment unlikely to benefit them and causing undue distress to one of comfort care.
It is always useful to know what patients’ wishes are regarding end of life, and what invasive interventions they would or not want in the event of deterioration, including cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Whilst these discussions may be difficult and emotional, we are required by law to discuss them in the event of CPR not being in the patient’s best interests and unlikely to work. Discussions are held with sensitivity and honesty, in line with national guidance.
The Resuscitation Council (UK) website explains the Respect process. This creates personalised recommendations for a person’s clinical care in a future emergency in which they are unable to make or express choices. Please click the link below to view the process.